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Foreign doctors 'must prove English skills'

Foreign doctors 'must prove English skills'
25th February 2013

Foreign doctors will be made to prove they have sufficient English skills before they are allowed to treat NHS patients, the government has announced.

From April 1st, there will be a legal duty to ensure a doctor has the necessary grasp of the language before they can be employed.

The move comes after Dr Daniel Ubani, a German doctor, gave a patient a fatal overdose on his first shift. He was employed in Cambridgeshire, despite having been rejected for work by Leeds Primary Care Trust because of his poor English.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "These new checks will ensure that all doctors who want to work in the NHS can speak proficient English and to prevent those who can’t from treating patients."

The Department of Health also announced a national list of GPs will be produced to prevent doctors being rejected in one area of the country and employed elsewhere. To feature on the list, the GPs will have to first prove their English skills.

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