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BMA meeting: BMA chairman demands better language checks for foreign doctors

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 30 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3496
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1Brighton

    Doctors from abroad who work in the UK health service should face tougher checks on their competence and ability to speak English, the chairman of the BMA Council insisted as he opened the BMA conference in Brighton on Monday 28 June.

    Referring to the death of David Gray, the 70 year old pensioner who was given an overdose of diamorphine out of hours by Daniel Ubani, a doctor from Germany (BMJ 2010;340:c3326, doi:10.1136/bmj.c3326), Hamish Meldrum said, “It cannot be acceptable for poorly trained, badly regulated doctors whose knowledge of English is about as good as my knowledge of Chinese to be able to practise, virtually unchallenged, in the UK.

    “My sympathy goes out to the family of David Gray, but sympathy is not enough. We must ensure that the doctors who treat our patients are competent to do so, that they have the necessary language skills, and that they are subject to the …

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