UK Calls for Crack Down on English Skills in Medical Profession

12 April 2010 (Last Updated April 12th, 2010 18:30)

GPs in the UK who cannot speak English as a first language should have their English skills checked, according to a parliamentary committee. The MPs made the call after a patient died due to a misunderstanding with drug-taking advice. Doctors from the European Economic Area (

GPs in the UK who cannot speak English as a first language should have their English skills checked, according to a parliamentary committee.

The MPs made the call after a patient died due to a misunderstanding with drug-taking advice.

Doctors from the European Economic Area (EEA) do not have to undergo the same checks as medical staff from other parts of the world, according to the MPs.

The UK General Medical Council (GMC) is prevented from checking the competence or language skills of EEA doctors under EU law, although it regulates doctors in the UK.

The MPs have asked that the UK Government look at issues with urgency, as the current EU directive is not due for revision until 2012.