Govt: Doctor language checks will protect patients
Patients should be able to understand and be understood by their doctor if we are to give them the best care they deserve. These new checks will ensure that all doctors who want to work in the NHS can speak proficient English and to prevent those who can't from treating patients.
There are lots of excellent doctors from around the world working in the NHS - this is simply about protecting patients and having proper checks on a doctor's ability to speak English.
By introducing these steps we will be able to put an end to doctors treating patients without proper checks on their language.
NHS language plans will 'strengthen patient safety'
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, has welcomed the government's plans that require foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England to prove they can speak English well enough to treat patients.
This is good news for patients.
The Health Minister's announcement today will help strengthen patient safety across the UK.
Our position is clear - patients must be confident that the doctor who treats them has the right communications skills to do the job.
If doctors cannot speak English to a safe standard then the GMC must be able to protect patients by preventing them from practising in the UK.
We will continue to work with the Department of Health to make these changes as quickly as possible.
Foreign doctors who want to work for the NHS in England will have to prove they can speak English well enough to treat patients, the Government has confirmed.
The new checks were announced after cases in which foreign doctors were said to have provided sub-standard care.
Those coming to the UK from outside the EU already face strict language tests. But doctors from within the European Economic Area are said to have registered to work in the NHS without being asked if they can speak English properly.
The General Medical Council (GMC) pushed for stronger language testing following the case of David Gray, who died in Cambridgeshire in 2008.
He was killed by German doctor Daniel Ubani who administered 10 times the normal dose of diamorphine.