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Independents' Day

Foreign GPs don’t speak very good English, says Nigel Farage

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has claimed that some foreign GPs don’t speak ‘very good English,’ and it’s a concern patients are actively talking about.

In an interview with Sky News yesterday, Mr Farage said GPs who can’t speak English properly should not be employed within the NHS, adding that it was ‘scandalous’ that not enough doctors and nurses were being trained in the UK.

Mr Farage went on to add that savings could be made within the NHS - in particular the increase of ‘middle-management roles’ - and he is expected to outline his party’s plans for the health service in a series of forthcoming speeches.

Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan asked: ‘So you’re going to winnow out those who can’t speak English properly?’ Mr Farage replied: ‘Well, of course.’

Mr Farage added: ‘Don’t we want to live in a country where we speak the same language and isn’t it scandalous that we are not training enough nurses and doctors in our own country?

‘I don’t know about you, whether you have even been to a GP who doesn’t speak very good English, but it’s something that people out there are talking about. If people don’t speak English and are dealing with English speaking patients – surely they shouldn’t be employed in the first place.’

Last year, the GMC said GPs would have to undertake a language assessment if complaints or concerns are raised about their English language communication skills following a change in legislation.



Readers' comments (28)

  • Vinci Ho

    Ha ha ha
    So predictable
    Why only now saying this ?
    Come on , folks, send in your comments.
    You see , my English is not 'very good'

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  • Speaking good English does not necessarily equate with competence.

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  • Sorry Nigel, I disagree. We had a chat in my Surgery and I am sure that you understood what I said because you responded aptly. I do agree there are people who don't speak good English but it's not just foreigners- and that is not reason therefore, to discriminate or else you would need to repatriate your own countrymen too:)

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  • And which dialect of Tyne and Tees, Merseyside, South Cornwall, Somerset, Yorkshire will his 'Queen's English' GP understand?
    Try listening to patients form Smarden and Marden in Kent- nope not a word- unless you've lived there!
    Reddin' GPs for Reading, Maardun GPs for Marden, Trosley GPs for Trottiscliffe!
    Ga-rar-ge GPs for Farage, or is gar-age.

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  • The funny side is that those who complain do so, unwittingly, compromising themselves at times.
    I have a patient who always complains that she could not understand the receptionist and barges in for appointments which she doesn't have. We do have an ethnic mix of staff and patients.
    However, she overdid it once when she screamed at the Receptionist ' I can't understand your English'.
    The Receptionist who was incidentally white British coolly told her to go to school if she had language problems.

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  • Everyone loves a panto villan! Pretty sure he would class us Scots among these "foreigners" that dont speak english. Always good for a laugh is old nigel

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  • Many people in Surrey cannot conjugate the verb 'to be'. They are Caucasian and British.
    I can just about understand them though.

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  • The queen would never say, 'we was not amused'.

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  • Does this person realize all non- EU doctors have to take an english test( Cambridge administered) even before the clinical assessment and pass both prior practising in the UK?

    If he really has the guts, let him try getting EU doctors to sit the english test.

    Nobody in the world is going to care about people like this anyway!!!

    Politician= person with unused brain

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  • Took Early Retirement

    Many of my former patients from Southampton had difficulty with their mother tongue- usually younger ones innit?

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