Demand for bilingualism among doctors

Demand for bilingualism among doctors

Five N-VA deputies have drafted a law requiring the introduction of a language test for healthcare providers from other countries of the EU. Belgian media reported on Friday that Catherine Fonck, cdH group leader in the parliament, characterized the text as “particularly devious “.

The text consists of few lines and is proposed for insertion as a complementary article in the Royal Decree regulating health professions.

It states that health care providers (doctors, pharmacists, dentists, physiotherapists, nurses and midwives) “may only practice their profession if they can prove their knowledge of the language or official languages ​​of the language area in which they live.”

“This proof can be provided by means of a language diploma or by a linguistic examination”.

The amendment to the law would oblige healthcare providers working in Brussels, or in certain municipalities, to demonstrate that they are bilingual. The provider’s right to practice  would be subject to this condition.

Catherine Fonck speaks of a “real time bomb”. “The demands of the N-VA are disproportionate to the needs in the field.” She expresses concern that “the reaction of the Minister of Health isn’t reassuring.”

The Brussels Times

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