The Liberal Democrats have today released a series of proposals to reform out-of-hours care and the employment of overseas doctors. The proposals follow the tragic death of David Gray who died after being treated by an overseas out-of-hours doctor.
The proposals include:
- A national language and competence test for every doctor wishing to work in the UK
- Making sure that a suspension in one country is effective everywhere across the European Economic Area (EEA)
- Creating a criminal offence for a PCT to allow a doctor to operate without ensuring compliance with regulations
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb said:
“The tragic death of David Gray raises serious concerns about the safety of out-of-hours care in this country.
“We cannot allow a situation to continue where we are reliant on tired, overworked foreign doctors to cover out-of-hours care.
“Patients’ lives are being put at risk because standards across Europe are not uniformly good and foreign doctors can practice in the NHS without a test of competence and language.
“Ministers have known for some time that the safeguards in place were not adequate but they have completely failed to take action.
“These proposals will ensure that every doctor working in this country can speak English, is familiar with our health service and is well trained.”