The Estonian Medical Association is worried that due to a misinterpretation of the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Act, several foreign doctors have made their way into Estonian hospitals and are practicing without having undergone a proper background check.
The association and several other professional bodies issued an appeal yesterday urging the Social Affairs Ministry to carry out a review of the legality of registration of the doctors.
The association has previously formally sought opinions from the Chancellor of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs on whether the Estonian Health Board has followed the rules on qualifications needed for foreign doctors to practice medicine here.
The problem involves the uncontrolled registration of doctors from third countries (outside the EU), which poses many other concerns such as language barriers and unknown medical history.
In accordance with the Chancellor of Justice’s decision in response to an April query from the association that the Health Board has made mistakes in determining vocational qualifications of foreign doctors, the Estonian Medical Association has also proposed that all medical staff hired from outside the European Union must present documentation to prove adequate local language skills.
"We ask the Health Board to present to the Medical Association and professional associations the following details on these doctors: name, doctor code, specialty, registration date, position in Estonia, the name of the institution that conferred specialist qualifications and duration of the training, duration of specialist work experience in the five years prior to registration and the grounds for registration," the doctors said in their appeal.