MEPs approved the introduction of an e-card detailing a person’s qualification and experience and enabling the mutual recognition of professional qualifications across the EU.
Among many other professions, the new rules cover health professionals including doctors and nurses and explicitly allow for their language skills to be tested, recognising that a good grasp of the local language is important for patient safety.
Lib Dem MEP Rebecca Taylor, European health spokeswoman, commented:
“These new EU rules will help the UK to ensure that doctors and nurses who offer their services to the NHS are not only appropriately qualified, but also have English language skills that enable them to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues. The new e-card will allow easy and uncomplicated background checks and existing rules on language tests have been clarified.
“The rules on mutual recognition of professional qualifications are also great news for Brits abroad who want to market their skills in other EU countries.”
MEPs also voted for the creation of an alert mechanism which requires Member States to exchange information on professionals who have been struck off or restricted from practicing their professional activity or who have used falsified documents.
Note to editors:
The revised Professional Qualifications Directive adopted by MEPs today also includes an evaluation process of national regulations on qualified professions to help reduce barriers of free movement. The evaluation process will take place between Member States and is expected to conclude in 2016. For more information, please see: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/qualifications/docs/policy_developments/131002_communication_en.pdf