On 3 October 2012, Peter Atherton presented a seminar on "Healthcare Professionals Crossing Borders" to the legal team at the GMC.
Recently published statistics show that 37% of UK registered doctors have qualified overseas. The migration of doctors to the UK reflects political and economic events elsewhere in the world. Since 1996 applications for registration from doctors in Italy,Greece,Sudan,Spain and Romania have been increasing and applications from doctors in the Commonwealth countries have been falling.
Within the EU, the greatest number of decisions on the recognition of professional qualifications under the EU Directive on the Recognition of Professional Qualifications relate to doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and dentists.
Several high profile incidents have highlighted public concern about the exemption of EU doctors and other Healthcare Professionals from language and knowledge testing at the point of registration in UK. The GMC and other Healthcare Regulators have lobbied intensively for changes to allow language testing, the exchange of information between Regulators and common standards for competence based training. The EU has recently published a proposal for amending Directive 2005/36/EC.
In 2009 the GMC commissioned the Rand Corporation to undertake an “International Comparison of Ten Medical Regulatory Systems”. The study aimed to increase understanding of the values,structures and operations of non-UK medical regulators and to enable the GMC to develop a body of regulatory contacts to facilitate global collaboration.
This seminar was topical as it coincided with the theme of the 10th International Conference of the International Association of Medical Regulatory Authorities in Ottawa, “Regulation in the Real World:Bringing Evidence to Bear”
Peter Atherton regularly represents the GMC at Fitness to Practise Panel and Registration Appeal Panel hearings. He also accepts Instructions to represent parties in other Regulatory proceedings.