Ireland: Eastern bloc doctors escape English language test

Slavomír Čéplö bulbulthegreat at
Tue May 29 21:23:05 UTC 2007

"Eastern Bloc"? I hope the authors of the article are aware of the
fact that it's 2007, not 1987. Also, the 10 states which joined the
European Union in 2004 include Malta and Cyprus, neither of which was
ever a part of the Soviet/Eastern bloc.

"former Eastern European states" ? Was there a giant earthquake? Did
the tectonic plates shift or did someone invent a new geograhical
coordination system? Because unless I really missed something, most of
the 10 countries in question, as well as the newest EU members Romania
and Bulgaria, are still located in Eastern Europe and chances are they
will remain there.

Journalists. Geez.


On 5/29/07, Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at> wrote:
> Eastern bloc doctors escape English language test
> The Medical Council has abandoned proposals to introduce an English
> test for Eastern European doctors. Under European legislation, the
> Council said it cannot make English language knowledge a criterion for
> registration of EU nationals, and said the onus is on employers to
> ensure staff have adequate English skills to perform their duties. It
> said this had been communicated to the HSE by Council President Dr
> John Hillery.
> Non-EU doctors have to sit an English test, but since EU accession,
> doctors from 10 countries no longer have to, even though many doctors
> from these countries had failed this English test under the old
> system, the Council said. Prof Anthony Cunningham, Chairman of the
> Council's Education and Training Committee, said that there would have
> been "a reasonable level of proficiency".
> "From what we understand, you can't have it as a prerequisite for
> registration and they must be registered, and you can't set any
> universal test. But the employers must ensure that whoever they are
> employing has appropriate language skills," he told IMN. "We
> understand there are concerns and it relates to former Eastern
> European states primarily. You can see where there would be concerns
> if individuals didn't have appropriate communications skills to
> understand instructions and decisions," Prof Cunningham said.
> The Council said English language knowledge, in the context of the
> implementation of Directive 2005/36/EC on the Recognition of
> Professional Qualifications, was discussed at a recent meeting of its
> Education and Training Committee. It said the Directive deals with
> language knowledge and it states: "Persons benefiting from the
> recognition of professional qualifications shall have a knowledge of
> languages necessary for practising the profession in the host Member
> State."
> The Council said the European Court of Justice determined that the
> principle of proportionality needed to be taken into account, with the
> linguistic knowledge required being appropriate to the work to be
> carried out.
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