October 09, 2011

Overseas doctors to undergo language test for UK

Foreign doctors coming to Britain seeking employment will now have to undertake a mandatory English test before being allowed to work in the Nation Health Service (NHS). The General Medical Council is to get new powers to take action over concerns about a doctor's ability to speak English, the Daily Express reported. Health Secretary Andrew Lansley will use his keynote conference speech to unveil the measures Tuesday. The step follows widespread concern that many patients are struggling to make themselves understood by foreign-born doctors in hospitals, clinics and General Practitioners' surgeries. Lansley will announce mandatory language tests at a local level for doctors recruited to the NHS in England from overseas. All doctors will have to prove they can speak a good level of English before they are allowed to work in England. The proposals will ensure patients are treated by doctors who they understand and who understand them. NHS rules will be amended so health chiefs responsible for ensuring medical staff are trained and qualified have a duty to check English language skills. On Monday night, Lansley said: "There is considerable anxiety among the public about the ability of doctors to speak English properly. "After 13 years of inaction from Labour to tighten up language controls, we will amend the legislation to prevent all foreign doctors with a poor grasp of English from working in England. "If you can't speak adequate English, you can't treat patients." Link: Original Article

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