Keep Lady Cilento's name on our children's hospital

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Queensland's state children's hospital was named after Lady Phyllis Cilento, and now the Queensland government is proposing to remove her name.

Dr Cilento was a pioneer for women in medicine, graduating in 1919 as the only woman in her year. She took a particular interest in obstetrics and children's health and was an advocate for natural childbirth, family planning and legalised abortion. She wrote regular columns in newspapers and magazines and through them was a household name and guide to many Australian women from 1928 until the 80s.

It is fitting that her name be remembered in this way as acknowledgement of her contribution and a reminder of.the advances we have made in the care for children and mothers and the people who have contributed to those advances.

The Lady Cilento Children's Hospital is the only Queensland public hospital named after a local medical pioneer. The others are named after members of the British royal family or religious figures.

Despite having made a decision, the health minister has said he will consult with the public. This is our chance to tell him what we think.

The minister says that because the hospital is named after a person, people do not know it is a public hospital. But that must apply equally to the Princess Alexandra, QEII and Prince Charles, or even the Mater Hospital.

He also says that researchers from the hospital have trouble being recognised overseas because of the name. In which case so would doctors from famous institutions like John Hopkins, Mayo, or even Australia's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.



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