Britain’s General Medical Council (GMC) has warned that expatriates could be subjected to sub-standard levels of healthcare overseas as a result of impending EU legislation.
Under the planned new laws currently being pushed through the Europen parliament, member states will be legally permitted to refuse patients access to the disciplinary history of incompetent healthcare professionals.
As such, with growing numbers of people opting for an expatriate lifestyle or simply heading overseas due to the long waiting lists for certain procedures in the UK, experts have warned that this "dangerous loophole" in laws covering patients’ rights could have serious implications.
GMC deputy chief executive Paul Philip stated: "The vast majority of doctors do a very good job under very difficult circumstances. However, when UK patients travel to mainland Europe, there is a risk they could be treated by a doctor who is not fit to practise or not fully qualified to give the required treatment."
The new measures are due to be voted on by the EU’s internal markets and consumer protection committee, alongside its environment and public health committee towards the end of this week.