29th January 2013
I am happy to say that last week I, and my Conservative Colleagues, voted to approve legislation that will help protect healthcare patients and the medical industry.
The Internal Market Committee agreed with our proposals that doctors from overseas should have to pass a language test if required and that all Member States should be alerted if a professional faces disciplinary action or suspension anywhere in the EU. The language ability of overseas doctors has been of growing concern, especially after the notorious case of Daniel Ubani, a German doctor whose poor English was blamed when he killed a patient with an overdose in 2008.
In addition we managed to defeat EU proposals to arbitrarily extend British medical students' courses from five years to six. We argued that Britain already produces some of the finest doctors in the world and so to try and extend the course for no good reason was simply pointless interference in a successful teaching environment. Education is all about the quality of the teaching and not about the length of time spent in the classroom.
It is of real concern though that UKIP MEPs once again failed to turn up to the vote. As it was we won this time, but I grow increasingly frustrated at the noise that UKIP make of 'protecting Britain's interests' back in the UK, when in Brussels they don’t match action to rhetoric. If the vote had been close, as it often is, then their support could have made the difference. Their indifference to the needs of their constituents is deeply concerning.