04/01/2015 07:25 GMT | Updated 04/01/2015 07:59 GMT

Nigel Farage Says Patients Are Concerned About GPs Who 'Don't Speak Very Good English'

Nigel Farage has claimed there is a problem with foreign GPs not speaking good English despite all NHS doctors having to pass a language test.

The Ukip leader claimed that "people out there are talking about" GPs not speaking good enough English but the NHS careers website clearly states that registered doctors must pass a test under the International English Language Testing System.

Farage made his claim as he defended Ukip's policy to stop people who do not speak good English from working in the NHS.

nigel farage

Nigel Farage claims "people out there are talking about" GPs who can't speak English well

He told Sky News's Murnaghan programme: "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've ever been to a GP that didn't speak very good English, and it's something that people out there are talking about.

"The whole point about immigration, whether it impacts on the health service or elsewhere, is that we have to have proper integration."


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Farage said people who do not speak English should not be employed in the NHS but refused to commit to sacking those already working in the service.

Asked whether he would sack non-English speakers in the NHS, the Ukip leader said: "If people don't speak English and they are dealing with English-speaking patients then surely they shouldn't be employed in the first place."

The NHS careers website which sets out the requirements for foreign doctors working in the health service clearly states that they must demonstrate a command of the English language before registering with the General Medical Council (GMC).

The website states: "Applicants who register with the GMC must also demonstrate competence in the English language by achieving a specific mark in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)."


GPs who don't speak English well shouldn't work for the health service, the Ukip leader said

Farage also said Ukip would set out policies for saving money within the NHS, suggesting that middle management staff could be cut.

But he acknowledged that overall health spending would have to rise to deal with Britain's ageing population.

Asked whether there is scope for savings within the NHS, Mr Farage said: "Without any shadow of a doubt there is, although overall health spending is going to go up over the next few years because our population is rising so rapidly.

"So there's no way around that - this is going to be costing us more money in a few years' time than it is now. That doesn't mean that it can't be more efficient.

"The savings are clear, aren't they, in the sense that the growth of middle management staff in the NHS since 1997, it's gone up by 48%.

"Don't tell me there aren't efficiencies that can't be made, there are."