Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Does dropping "Royal" make a Hospital more efficient?

Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital has axed its reference to the Queen shortly before Christmas. It will now be known as The Women's after advice from consultants that its traditional name was "ineffective". The hospital opened in 1856 and was known as The Women's Hospital from 1884 until Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, conferred the title upon it in 1954, the year after her coronation during a two-month tour of Australia.

Greens MP Greg Barber welcomed the change and encouraged others to follow. "It must be sad for the monarchists," Mr Barber said. "RSPCA, Royal Women's, Royal Lifesaving, I support their cause, it's got nothing to do with them being connected to royalty."

We know, we live in a time, when “spin” rules politics. Now hospitals discovered spin as well. How else could we interpret Mandy Frostick’s defense for dropping the “Royal” of the Women’s Hospital? "We were advised by a professional wayfinding signage company who developed the signage package." And what the hell is "a professional wayfinding signage company"?How much does the hospital spend on new signage instead of investing it into their work? Who is being helped by insulting our Australian Queen?

And concerning Greg Barber’s statement, I am surprised that he dedicates so much of his precious time into discussing Royal attributes, when after being contacted by me concerning hazardous waste he himself wrote to me this year: “Unfortunately we are unable to handle every issue that comes before us and particularly issues of a Federal nature.”

Green issues don’t seem to count, all is spin. Welcome to the virtual world, “Women’s” and Greens.

The same day that the Melburnian media reported the dropping of the "Royal" attribute it caused such a storm that a couple of hours later The Royal Women's Hospital was forced to go public and back down:

Women's hospital staying 'royal'
December 25, 2007 - 12:33PM
Australia's oldest public hospital for women, the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, has today vehemently denied reports that it is about to discard its 53-year-old royal warrant.
It was today reported that the hospital had been advised to discard its royal warrant.
But Royal Women's Hospital spokeswoman Mandy Frostick said the hospital had not changed its name and had no intention of changing it, despite a large illuminated sign on Friday appearing high up on the side of the hospital's new $250 million building in Parkville.
Due to open in June, it will be situated immediately beside the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
"Of course we are proud to be The Royal Women's Hospital, but people also know us as just The Women's and that was a consideration in pointing people to our building as opposed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital next door," Ms Frostick said.
However, she said the hospital would continue to display its full name at street level, on its flag and throughout its premises.
"The most important function of the illuminated signs is to ensure people can quickly and easily identify The Women's - and can clearly distinguish our entrance from the adjacent Royal Melbourne Hospital entrance - particularly at night and during an emergency," Ms Frostick said.
"Signage experts strongly advised against using our full name on the illuminated signs at the top of the building as this would require a significant reduction in the size and consequent impact, rendering it ineffective from a visibility and identification perspective. "
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/womens-hospital-staying-royal/ 2007/12/25/1198344994971.html

Nothing of the kerfuffle of The Royal Women's Hospital made it into the printed version of The Age. Its edition of 26th December did not contain a single sentence about what had made internet headlines on the 25th. I bet with you it would have been on page one, had The Royal Women's Hospital dropped the "Royal" attribute. To misquote The Age: "If it doesn't matter to us, it has not to matter to you."

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