Ambiguity in the identity transformation of public health organizations
This study explores the transformations implemented by health authorities in a hospital over the last forty years with the purpose of institutionalizing geriatrics in the Chilean public health system. The transformations have been implemented through a process of identity conversion that had implied high levels of ambiguity due to the contradictory coexistence of the old hospital’s identity with the new geriatric practices. These ambiguities are associated with the erratic, precarious support provided by state authorities to the development of the public geriatric framework. Through the handling of images, authorities have paradoxically amplified the achievements of these transformations, thus promoting apparent complacency in internal and external audiences.