Tighter rules on EU doctors backed by committee

EU legislators have backed new rules on doctors moving between countries in a move that could boost GMC powers to test clinicians' skills before they work in the NHS.

Doctors trained overseas could face tougher checks
Doctors trained overseas could face tougher checks

Experts have called for greater powers to test the abilities of EU doctors working in the UK after high profile cases in which patients came to harm.

In 2008, German locum Dr Daniel Ubani administered an overdose of diamorphine that killed a patient, David Gray. Doubts have been raised over both his English language skills and training.

Under revisions to a directive approved by a European Parliament committee this week, regulators in EU countries will be allowed to test doctors' language skills, check their training, and will be expected to warn other nations if a doctor is sanctioned.

The directive will allow regulators to bar doctors from working in a country if they fail a test of their language competence.

Doctors will also only be allowed to practise in a country if they meet minimum training requirements for their profession, and EU states will be required to support continuing professional development for doctors.

Health regulators will be expected to 'proactively warn each other within three days' if a health professional is struck off or has restrictions placed on their practice.

The full European Parliament will vote on the revised rules later this year.

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