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Political Correctness Again

Entry 94, on 2004-12-01 at 15:12:57 (Rating 2, News)

I read in our local paper this morning that our hospital has recently spent just under $20,000 changing the colour of the pillow cases they use. Why would they need to do this? Apparently there is a Maori cultural belief that having the same colour bed linen for the body and the head is not acceptable.

I really don't think I'm a racist and would be just as scathing of an attempt to cater to unreasonable beliefs of any other group in society, it just happens that many of these examples of political correctness are to cater for Maori beliefs (in New Zealand only, obviously).

I would be confident in predicting that only a tiny fraction of Maori would worry about the colour of the bed linen if they were being treated in hospital, so why does this need to happen? I have two theories: one, that an extreme Maori individual or group pushed for this just as a way of wielding some power; or two, that a mindless bureaucrat in the hospital administration just thought it would be a good idea.

There was mention of this being "best practice", which in my opinion is garbage. In my experience, most best practices are invented by bureaucratic managers and are just an excuse to implement unpopular policies. We get this at the University too.

It wouldn't be so bad if our health system wasn't so hopelessly short of funds. Around $20,000 may not seem like a lot, but I'm sure its just the tip of the iceberg of what is spent on this sort of thing. It would be nice to be able to cater for everyone's beliefs and tastes, but I think its more important for a hospital to treat sick people!

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Comment 1 (258) by Tim on 2006-09-27 at 17:40:12:

You've got a point there, but do you think the linen might have been due to be replaced anyway? If it was, then there is no problem in changing the colour, is there.

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Comment 2 (259) by OJB on 2006-09-27 at 17:42:23:

No. I agree that if the linen needed replacing anyway then changing the colour to make a group of people more comfortable while being treated is fine. But there was no reference in the news article I read saying anything about that possibility. If you know something I don't could you provide a reference?

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