Overseas doctors need more rigorous checks, says health committee

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Overseas doctors need more rigorous checks, says health committee

13th April 2010

A new report by the Health Select Committee has warned that immediate changes to the use of overseas doctors in Britain need to be made.

This report follows the death of a 70-year-old man who was given 10 times the recommended dosage of diamorphine by a German locum doctor working in the UK.

Under European law, the General Medical Council (GMC) is not allowed to test language or medical capabilities of doctors within the EU but the doctor in this case had already been rejected by West Yorkshire NHS because he could not speak English well enough.

Daniel Lee, a medical negligence specialist at Fentons Solicitors LLP, believes that more meticulous testing of overseas doctors would increase patient safety.

"This tragic case highlights the need for thorough checks on EU doctors wishing to work in the UK," said Daniel, a partner at the firm. "Reports suggest if the GMC had been able to check the language skills and clinical competence of the locum involved in this particular case, there could have been a different outcome.

"It is vitally important that patients and doctors can communicate effectively and that all overseas GPs have an in-depth knowledge of medical practices in the UK," said Daniel.

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Source - Sky News