One of the bits of paper I own is a medical degree. When people find out I'm an A&E doctor in Glasgow they're hooked. They want to talk about my work. I don't. I fob them off with an ancient anecdote, then listen patiently, because everyone has an A&E tale to tell.

In May I addressed a national medical conference. The chairman who introduced me relished his first opportunity to welcome a speaker from "The Death Star". Isn't that a sticky name for a hospital?

I understand Glasgow humour. This is the natural successor to "The Sufferin' General", but the name catches in my throat. I can't bring myself to say it. The hospital has an official title now. While I was on holiday, it was named and claimed by the Queen. The latest moniker sticks in my craw as well.

Glasgow already had a Royal Infirmary, on Castle Street, next to the cathedral. High on a hill, looking down on the city, it was built in the flag waving days of empire on land gifted by royal charter from the Crown Estate. Five years ago I chose not to work there.

The Southern General occupied a less elevated position. Built on Clyde silt next to a sewage farm and a scrapyard, 'the Sufferin'' occupied the historical site of the Govan Poorhouse and Hospital.

Like its predecessors, the new hospital is the product of social welfare legislation, administered by a public body, funded by general taxation. Yet it is named after the Queen. We live in a democracy. Does no-one realise that the sun finally set on the empire? They know that on the streets of Govan. Those ships have sailed.

I am less opposed to the institution of monarchy than committed to an ideal of social justice. For three decades I have worked, personally and professionally, for, and with, some of the most disenfranchised communities in Glasgow. My wife and I gave up evenings and weekends and holidays over many years. We kickstarted a handful of charities. I sacrificed 10 years of my medical career to work in the voluntary sector. We have been advocates for young people in care, addicts, disempowered families, prisoners and those with mental illness. We have tried to crack open the doors of opportunity for children and young people trapped in the whirlpool of deprivation. In my own time I sit on Childrens' Hearings. I am at present examining service responses to crisis mental health presentations for the Scottish Government. I have been left wondering why I bother.

Queen Elizabeth is the most potent symbol of the glaring inequalities in our society, a vivid representation of the growing gulf between rich and poor. The name of the new hospital is not unimportant. One of my other bits of paper is an honours degree in theology, so I'm qualified to know that symbols carry meaning, power and influence. I am reluctantly obliged to reinforce the illusion that our hospital, and therefore our health, is the charitable gift of a benevolent monarch to her less fortunate subjects.

The association of royalty with healing is a medieval superstition with no place in the 21st century NHS. How can I realistically encourage the people of Glasgow to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing, for self-improvement, when the renamed hospital perpetuates the ideal of an inflexible social order?

It suggests they should take life as it comes and accept their subsidiary position. It quite literally subjugates its patients.

A number of my colleagues are indifferent to the new name. Some might be enthusiastic. If so, they are less than vocal. Many others have voiced their objections: Who allowed this to happen? Why the secrecy and lack of public consultation? Why could I not say, no,

not in my name'?'

As society becomes increasingly fragmented, establishment machinations are screwing the doors of opportunity shut, locking future generations into poverty and social mobility becomes no more than a faded dream. The fight for social justice is increasingly an uphill battle.

I will persevere, as will many others, wounded but not defeated, frustrated that once inclusive social structures are being re-appropriated and incorporated into the machinery of marginalisation. If we meet, please don't ask me where I work. I really can't bring myself to say it.

Dr Keith McKillop is a Specialty Doctor in the Emergency Department at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.