GMC seeks powers to test doctors’ language skills

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 10 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5532
  1. Helen Jaques
  1. 1BMJ Careers

The UK General Medical Council is seeking powers to test the English language proficiency of doctors from elsewhere in Europe and of registered doctors whose language skills are called into question by complaints from patients.

The regulator and the Department of Health for England have launched a consultation on changes to the Medical Act 1983 to tighten the law concerning language checks for doctors.

At present, European Union regulations on the mutual recognition of qualifications prevent the GMC from testing the English language skills of doctors from other European countries who are seeking a licence to practise in the United Kingdom. International medical graduates from outside Europe, on the other hand, are required to meet minimum standards of English language.

The new 12 week consultation seeks views on …

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