SIR – Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association (Letters, July 17), states that requiring foreign medical professionals to sit language exams would breach European law on the freedom of movement of individuals within the European Economic Area.
She goes on to say that safeguarding patient care must be our priority and suggests that the Government must focus on changing British law to empower the GMC to regulate all doctors working here.
Doctors dealing with acutely ill patients will expect to see the BMA giving parallel advice to the Government about the European Working Time Directive. Dangerously low levels of medical cover brought about by the directive have led to much of the demand for foreign locums. Language testing is not the only area where British legislation is needed.
President, Royal College of Surgeons London WC2.
Will anyone listen? Nah probably not.