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Department rules out language test

The introduction of an English language test for all EU-trained doctors who want to work in Ireland has been dismissed by the Department of Health, the Irish Independent has learned.

The request to introduce the test was made by the Medical Council, the regulatory body for doctors, internal correspondence reveals.

Under an EU directive, all EU-trained doctors who want to register here cannot be subjected to an English language test or clinical skills exam. They can register to work here as long as they provide proof of their qualifications and clean record.

The freedom of movement rules are a cause of increasing concern to medical regulatory authorities around Europe who have lobbied for doctors to be singled out for competency and language tests.

The commission said a review of professional qualifications needed under the freedom of movement directive was under way.

In contrast, all doctors from outside the EU, who want to register to work here, have to undergo screening for language and clinical skills.

Meanwhile, around 40 doctors from Pakistan and India, who applied to work as junior doctors here during a recruitment campaign in May, are still not employed, although they have been in Ireland since early July.

The Medical Council said that 190 doctors have met the requirements for registration.

Some 236 of the candidates passed clinical examinations for jobs where they can work in an Irish hospital under supervision for two years.

However, not all of these are fully registered either because the doctors themselves have not supplied all their documentation or the HSE has failed to provide details of where they will be working and the supervision arrangements they will have.

Irish Independent