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Medical Personnel Secondment (European Community)

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the proposed EEC regulation for the free secondment of qualified medical personnel within the EEC now applies to those employed by the National Health Service; and if she can now assess its effect on that service.

The proposed directives for the freedom of movement of doctors, which apply to both employed and self-employed doctors, were agreed in principle at the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 11th February. They have, however, not yet been signed and would come into effect 18 months after signature. No substantive action to implement them will be taken before the national referendum on membership of the Community.It is difficult to forecast exactly what the effect of implementing the directives would be since there is already a certain movement of doctors into and out of this country, particularly for further training and experience. Differences in language also are a barrier to movement.