Derek Burney: The irrational, woke left stifles health care and is ruining higher education

NP

Healthcare workers get ready to prone a 47-year-old woman who has COVID-19 and is intubated on a ventilator in the intensive care unit at Toronto's Humber River Hospital on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. PHOTO BY NATHAN DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Why do we Canadians accept mediocrity as the standard for health care and higher education, two bedrocks for a successful democracy? Both are jurisdictionally provincial, but they should be matters of national concern. On health care, we seem mesmerized by the illusion of universality, smug in the assumption that our system is at least better than that of the U. Political leaders shy away from fundamental changes to a service that is 60 years old as if genuine reform represented a political third rail. arguably has the best and most innovative hospital system in the world and many of the previous inequities are being addressed through Obamacare and expansions of Medicare and Medicaid that will provide more individual choice and more timely responses. A portion of private medical care may violate sensibilities about equity, but the element of competition does demonstrably improve the standard of care.

That would improve the quality of care and relieve pressure on the public system. Health care will not reform itself. Most of all, we need political leaders courageous enough to act on the results of fresh thinking and not shopworn shibboleths. Higher education is following a similar mediocre path.

Our institutions are not developing the skills and talents our society needs. The net result is too many graduates lacking fundamental creative skills essential to a healthy economy. We rely on immigration to fill the skills gap but, with more emphasis now on family class immigrants, that is a depleting resource. To counter this trend, Australia is over-hauling university funding to incentivize students to move away from Humanities courses towards those like math, science and engineering and increase the pool of job-ready graduates.

Instead of teaching students how to think in a fearless pursuit of truth, faculties are more intent on teaching what to think and, more ominously, what to avoid. The warped impact this will have on future leaders of our country is troubling. As reported in the National Post, Patanjali Kambhampati, an award winning Chemistry professor at McGill, had two research grants rejected by the federal government because he refused to accept EDI stipulations on recruitment, provisions which he believes kill innovation and harm science. The intrepid pursuit of truth, not woke dogma, should be at the heart of higher education.

Education institutions need to adapt accordingly. More and more divisions at the University of Toronto are hiring their own equity and diversity officers. are belatedly pushing back against doctrines they abhor, confirming that they do have a role in shaping the education of their children. Health care underpins our wellbeing.

Education anchors the ability of our society to succeed.

Source: Derek H. Burney | NP

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