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Euro-MPs put pressure on dodgy doctors

by awitherick on 12 January, 2012

Euro MPs have sent a strong signal of support to the European Commission to put in place a cross border alert system to stop so-called ‘dodgy doctors’ from moving from country to country to continue malpractice.

The NHS relies heavily on the EU’s free movement of labour with almost 1 in 10 health care professionals trained outside the UK.

Calling for improved coordination between Member States to stop incompetent professionals crossing borders to set up shop in a different country, South West MEP Sir Graham Watson said:

“There is no doubt that doctors and nurses trained outside the UKprovide vital services to the NHS. However, we must ensure that vulnerable patients can have peace of mind about the competence of all health care professionals.

“There should be an alert mechanism for Member State governments to warn each other of incompetent and rogue doctors and nurses. This sort of cooperation is one of things the EU does best.

“It is also particularly important that there are no language barriers between doctors and patients.

“It is now up to the European Commission to come forward with proposals to ensure the best quality of treatment across Europe.’’

The vote comes after the case of David Gray, who died when by a German doctor performing out of hours duties for the NHS who gave him an overdose of the drug diamorphine in 2008.

“The law in force at the time, which dated back to 1983, restricted the power of the NHS to refuse giving a licence to a foreign doctor to practice in the UK on language grounds. The coalition government is committed to eradicating this practice and I welcome this move.”

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