Letterkenny case highlights concerns over Doctor training

Doctors from other EU countries who want to register and work in Ireland are not subject to any test of their medical skills according to the Irish Independent.

The Medical Council, which regulates the profession here, reported 361 complaints against doctors last year -- a rise of 22% compared with 2009.

On Tuesday it emerged that Romanian junior doctor 31-year-old Asia Ndaga, who was recruited to work in Letterkenny General Hospital last July, was not able to take a patient's pulse.

Medical Council president Professor Kieran Murphy said he would not comment on a specific case.

However, he confirmed that because of freedom of movement legislation, doctors from EU states can register to work in another EU country as long as they provide evidence of their qualifications and disciplinary record.

He said the council, along with most of its European counterparts, is now urging the European Commission to exempt doctors from this rule and allow for a test of their clinical skills.

New registration rules will come into effect for junior doctors from outside the EU who want to register to work in Irish hospitals.

This is expected to result in the arrival of a large group of medics from India and Pakistan to ease the shortage of medics in several hospitals.

However, there are fears this will make it easier for unfit doctors to slip through the net.