GMC Warns Over Foreign Doctor Language Skills

Specialist Welcomes Call For Change

30.03.2011

The General Medical Council (GMC) has issued a warning over the risks posed to patient safety by not allowing it to test the language skills of doctors who come to work in the UK.

In a submission to the European Commission, the organisation has stated that under current rules it is unable to properly assess the language skills and relevant training that practitioners from the European Economic Area have.

According to the GMC, it had raised the issue in an effort to address “regulatory gaps” which “have the potential to harm patients and undermine confidence” in the healthcare system as a whole.

Irwin Mitchell regularly provides advice and support to those who have been injured as a result of errors or failings in medical treatment and care.

Mandy Luckman, a Partner who specialises in clinical negligence claims at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “I welcome the GMC’s announcement on this issue, as any communication problems have the possibility to lead to confusion when it comes to the treatment of patients.

“In addition, calls for further information on the experience of doctors could help to ensure they are integrated into the UK health system without any problems.

“Ultimately, it is vital that the right measures are put in place which will ensure the treatment of patients is always carried out to the required high standard.”