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Variations in GP training come under scrutiny

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The competence of overseas GPs is to be examined by the General Medical Council.

The move by the medical regulator was sparked by a policy paper from cross party peer Lord Patel, which recommends that the GMC should address the “significant variation” in medical training across EU countries.

If doctors meet minimum EU standards, then they have to be recognised by all EU member states. These “shortcomings in legislation” are preventing the GMC from effectively protecting patients, said Lord Patel, who concluded that lack of equivalent training has lowered confidence in the specialist and GP registers.

The case of German locum Dr Daniel Ubani, who administered a fatal painkiller overdose on his first out of hourse shift in the UK, has prompted the spotlight to shine recently on the topic of EU doctors working in the UK.

A review of out of hours care quality, led by Department of Health primary care director David Colin-Thome and Royal College of GPs chairman Steve Field, is due to report soon.

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