Jim Wells MLA is right that doctors need to be able to communicate well with their patients and colleagues (News, November 23).
Doctors from outside Europe have to demonstrate to us that they have the necessary language and clinical skills before they join the register, but the law currently stops us from making these checks on doctors who qualified in Europe.
One of the doctors named in your article qualified in Romania and so we were not able to test their language and clinical skills before they joined the register.
We have been working to get the law changed to close this gap in our regulatory defences and have made significant progress on this recently.
We are being given new powers under the Medical Act to take action when we have concerns about a European doctor's language skills.
Local employer checks will also be strengthened to check the clinical skills of all doctors - including those from Europe.
These changes will give patients in Northern Ireland the assurance that all of their doctors are fit to do the job they have been given.
Chief executive General Medical Council