“In formulating the necessary corrective action the Panel believes that a
presumption of an aspiration to excellence is crucially important if the health
and wealth of our society is to be maximised in coming decades. Both health and
higher education are now global commodities. It can no longer be assumed that
the enviable position that postgraduate medical education (and related
biomedical research) historically enjoyed in the UK will be sustained unless
such issues are addressed.”
I agree with the Witch Doctor and the black cat on this one. It must be seen in context of the way in which education is being seen as a commodity in a rather short sighted and frankly stupid manner by our dumb political masters. Read the excellent Ecologics for more on this here, here and here. In my opinion it shows how unfettered capitalism is a great danger, as if money is seen as the be all and end all to everything then everything else is ignored. In this way excellence and seeking the ultimate truths, for example in scientific study, are not important if they can't be used to make money as commodities. As humans we have many complex needs which do not always revolve around commodities and cash, if we ignore them it will be at our peril, we will become very unhappy individuals indeed.
Medicine is a case in point, it should not be turned into a commodity in this manner, otherwise excellence will be ignored at the expense of easy profits. I will be back to finish off this piece later, but duty calls......