A new poll has found 52 per cent of Queenslanders are opposed to the Queensland Government renaming the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to Queensland Children’s Hospital.
In September, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles announced that 62% of the 38,000 respondents to his government’s online poll had voted in favour of changing the name of the hospital in South Brisbane.
He said at the time hospital staff had petitioned for the change and cited confusion among the public who think the building is a private hospital.
But Nine News revealed this month that close to 18,000 votes in the Queensland government’s online poll came from just 74 IP addresses, casting doubt on the results.
On Monday, Nine News reported a Galaxy poll of 1000 people across south-east Queensland found only 27 per cent of those surveyed wanted the hospital renamed, with 52 per cent preferring Lady Cilento’s name be retained.
The poll also found 51 per cent of Queenslanders believe that the state government “lied about the level of community support” for changing the name of the hospital.
Only 14 per cent of those polled believed the government had told the truth and 35 per cent could not decide.
The children’s hospital was named to honour Lady Phyllis Cilento in 2014 by the previous Newman LNP government, but Queensland Labor Health Minister Steven Miles said 900 staff at the hospital had petitioned to change the name.
“As I’ve always said, the decision to change the name of the hospital back to Queensland Children’s Hospital was made by cabinet based on a number of factors, including a petition with 900 signatures of hospital staff,” Miles told Brisbane Times.
He said some doctors at the hospital had said they had lost research grants because the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital name implied it was a private hospital, not a public one.
Queensland’s Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said the Galaxy research was “the only scientifically conducted reliable poll on this issue” and called for the name change to be stopped.
“The Palaszczuk government’s survey to justify the name change was clearly a rort, rigged and corrupted,” she told the Brisbane Times.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, the late Lady Phyllis Dorothy Cilento served at the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Herston in the 1930s.
She was an early advocate of vitamins, natural childbirth and family planning, authored 24 books and was a frequent contributor of columns to newspapers and magazines.
Last month, QNews Magazine backed the hospital name change in an editorial and revealed Lady Cilento’s history of racist and homophobic commentary, including describing homosexuals as a “malignant tumour” on Australian life.
(Top left photo by Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons, top right photo by State Library of Australia)