The British government plans to make up to 220 senior doctors legally responsible for verifying the language skills of European doctors who want to work in the UK. The changes will come into effect in April. This comes five years after Daniel Ubani, a German doctor, accidentally killed a 70-year-old patient in Cambridgeshire by administering the wrong amount of morphine while on his first shift as an out-of-hours GP. The case became public more than a year later when the sons of the victim went to the press, believing that there was a lack of action by the government.
The media have exposed failures in the way the NHS handles doctors from abroad, and found that the tests for European doctors were less rigorous than those for doctors from other parts of the world. Now all doctors, regardless of their origin, will have to undergo the new tests. The government health minister, Dan Poulter, said: "These new checks will ensure that all doctors who want to work in the NHS can speak proficient English and prevent those who can't from treating patients. People should be able to understand and be understood by their doctor if we are to give them the best care they deserve".
The General Medical Council removed Daniel Ubani from the medical register in 2010, a move considered long overdue by some. Now the government intends to establish clinical commisioning groups which will have a legally responsible person to check the credentials and competencies of all foreign doctors.
Thanks to a new medical English course developed by MedPharm Group, doctors and all other health care professionals can improve their knowledge and gain the necessary skills not only for the UK but other English-speaking countries as well. MedicalEnglish24.com has been carefully put together by teachers, doctors, and many others connected with the medical profession in order to give students of medical English all the tools they need to secure a better job in another country, and hopefully prevent another case like that of Dr Ubani from happening again.