» Friday, June 17, 2005

Foreign Doctors

Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned about the numbers of doctors and nurses coming to the UK from developing countries and the employment of European doctors to cover weekend work, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that in terms of doctors coming over for the weekend, those arrangements were in place following new contracts that had been agreed with GPs. Many GPs were carrying out the out-of-hours service themselves, but it was true that there were some doctors being hired from Europe to help out. The most important thing was that we had strong arrangements for out-of-hours care for patients and that was what we were providing. Asked if this was a long-term solution, the PMS said that the Department of Health were supporting the out-of-hours service through the Primary Care Trusts. £316 million had been available last year for out-of-hours services and most important factor was that these services were provided to those who needed them and that a high quality of service was maintained.

Asked if were concerned by reports that some foreign doctors couldn’t understand their patients, the PMOS said that doctors language skills were assessed.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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