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Doctors: Qualifications

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms are in place for periodic assessment of the (a) qualifications and (b) competence of doctors; and what checks are carried out to assess whether medical qualifications obtained overseas by persons seeking to practise medicine in the UK are comparable with those obtained in the UK. (258491)

In the White Paper ‘Trust Assurance and Safety—The Regulation of Health Professionals in the 21st Century’ the Government endorsed the Chief Medical Officer's recommendation that there should be a system of revalidation to ensure that registered doctors remain up to date and fit to practise. Work to implement revalidation is being undertaken by the General Medical Council (GMC), the Department, devolved administrations, medical royal colleges and others under the leadership of the UK Revalidation Programme Board established by the GMC.

The GMC carry out checks on overseas medical qualifications to ensure they are of an acceptable standard.

The law states that an ‘acceptable overseas qualification’ means any qualification granted outside the United Kingdom, where that qualification is for the time being accepted by the GMC as qualifying a person to practise as a medical practitioner in the United Kingdom.