Doctors in the UK are set to be subject to regular checks under new plans unveiled by the Department of Health.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, revealed the assessments will be carried out in order to ensure doctors' training and expertise are up-to-date, as well as that they are fit to carry out their roles.
The new system, which is called medical revalidation, is being put in place by the government to make sure doctors remain operating at the standards expected of them.
"Doctors save lives every day and making sure they are up to speed with the latest treatments and technologies will help them save even more. This is why a proper system of revalidation is so important," said Mr Hunt.
It was added that another proposal is that in the future there is one national list of general practice doctors, dentists and ophthalmologists approved to provide NHS primary care services.
General Medical Council Professor Sir Peter Rubin described it as a "historic" day for patients in the UK.
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