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Doctors: Shortening front-line training could put patients at risk

Leading doctors have warned that plans to shorten their medical training could compromise patient safety.

The British Medical Association said there were concerns doctors would not be able to reach the necessary level of expertise

ITV News Correspondent Romilly Weeks has this report:

Language tests for EU doctors a 'huge step forward'

New rules to help check foreign doctors' English language skills are a "huge step forward for patient safety", the Health Minister has said.

Previously EU doctors could practise in the UK without having to pass a language test, while those from outside Europe could be made to prove their grasp of English..

European doctors could now face a language test if there are concerns about their English. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The new powers mean the General Medical Council can order a language test if "serious concerns" are raised about a doctor.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "For the first time ever, we have a full system of checks in place to prevent doctors working in the NHS who do not have the necessary knowledge of English from treating patients."

"This is a huge step forward for patient safety. I am pleased to have played my part in making this happen," he added.

Almost two million 'wait three weeks to see doctor'

As many as two million people have to wait up to three weeks for an appointment with a GP, a survey has found.

Half a million face a wait of up to a month to see their family doctor, while only one in three patients is able to secure a same-day appointment.

Three-week wait to see your doctor, new report finds. Credit: PA

The research, carried out by the Daily Mail and over-50s group Saga, found that 20% of people cannot get a consultation within seven days.

Last week the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) claimed more than 34 million people will this year fail to get an appointment with their GP when they seek one.[

](http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-02-23/over-34-million-will-fail-to-get-gp-appointment-in-2014/)

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