Regulators must strengthen checks on movement of doctors

The European Commission should set up an 'alert mechanism' to ensure member countries are quickly informed about regulatory action taken against European doctors, medical regulators have called.

Mr Dickson: joint submission is a ‘significant step forward’
Mr Dickson: joint submission is a ‘significant step forward’

In a joint statement to the European Commission, 25 European regulators, including the GMC, outlined ways in which the current system for regulating the movement of doctors in Europe could be improved.

It said an alert mechanism would improve the exchange of information about European doctors, which would have an impact on patient safety in Europe.

The move follows concerns that European regulators are not always sharing registration and disciplinary information about a doctor with their counterparts in other countries.

The 2005 EU directive on the recognition of professional qualifications allows the free movement of clinicians around Europe, by requiring the GMC and other regulators to accept overseas medical qualifications. It also bars them from conducting any formal language testing.

But the joint statement said only doctors that are fit and safe to practise should be able to move freely with the EEA. It also urged the commission to allow regulators to assess the language and clinical skills of migrant doctors in the interest of patient safety.

GMC chief executive Niall Dickson said this joint submission is a ‘significant step forward’.

He said: ‘It shows that regulators throughout Europe share the goal of securing improved patient safety and are committed to helping refine the current rules so that free movement of doctors can go hand in hand with proportionate, effective and targeted regulation.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...