This site is intended for health professionals only

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.