Valerie raises the Budget for Medical Education and Reseach at BIS questions

On Thursday 13th June 2013, during questions to the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Valerie questioned the Minister for Universities and Science about arrangements for the funding of medical education and research. The Minister failed to address whether his Department is considering moving the budget to the Department of Health as was suggested.

Valerie’s tabled question was listed as Question 6 on the Order paper:

“What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department’s budget for medical education and research.”

The Minister replied:

“The Government are committed to well-funded medical education and research and to maintaining long-term funding in these areas. In 2013-14 we will spend £330 million on health education and £630 million on health research.”

Valerie’s supplementary question:

“I thank the Minister for his answer. However, the chair of the Medical Schools Council has said that any move of this budget to the Department of Health poses a significant risk of undermining Britain’s leading position in health research and education. Will the Minister confirm that he will resist all attempts at Treasury short-termism and a move of the budget to the Department of Health, as this area is a driver of growth and a global strength for the UK?”

The Minister replied:

“It is a global strength for the UK, and that is why we have protected the Medical Research Council’s budget in real terms. Only last week we had the topping-out ceremony at the Crick institute—the opening of the new laboratory of molecular biology. On the particular issue that the hon. Lady raises, I cannot do better than to quote the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said the other day:

‘I give you an absolute commitment that I will do nothing that jeopardises that vital basic research that the Medical Research Council undertakes, and I would always make sure that that money is not used for other things.’

“We cannot do better than that.”