Safeguards for British patients was the focus of Marina Yannakoudakis’ speech to the European Parliament today. The Conservative MEP for London called for compulsory language-testing for EU doctors by the UK authorities. She also welcomed proposals for an early warning system to alert other EU Member States when a doctor has been struck off or disciplined. Marina is the Conservative Health Spokesman in the European Parliament.

Marina said: “When looking at medical qualifications the first priority must be the well-being of the patient.

“I am pleased that the report gives Member States the responsibility for checking the language ability of migrant doctors and nurses.

“Doctors must be able to communicate adequately with their patients and colleagues.

“The new alert mechanism for doctors who have been found responsible for negligence is also welcome.

“In the UK, the case of a German doctor who killed a patient in Cambridge after making serious errors raised concerns about the mobility of EU doctors.

“The fact that he was allowed to continue practising medicine in Germany after being struck off in the UK was also troubling.

“I hope that the early warning system will allow the medical authorities of Member States to better protect their citizens.

“I’m in favour of freedom of movement for employment, but we must first ensure that we protect patients across the EU.”