Health systems in Europe are struggling to cope with
considerable challenges in providing medical care. In order to treat patients, there must be not
only medical supplies and everyday goods, it is also important to have enough qualified
medical staff. With its guidance published on 7
May 2020, the European Commission is encouraging the Member States to adopt a liberal approach to
Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications. The European Commission has outlined the following
three key points.
Recognition and permission for cross-border medical work
The European Commission recommends streamlining procedures for the
recognition of professional qualifications. Examples of this include waiving the need for prior declarations
and prior checks of
qualifications, setting shorter
processing times, requesting fewer
supporting documents and not
asking for certified translations of certificates. Automatically registering persons in the
host Member State would
also be an option.
Early graduation and adaptations of vocational training
that the minimum criteria of the Directive are met and the Member States’ competences are maintained, students at an advanced
stage of training may have
the option of shortening their training or having their certificate of
professional qualification issued
The Member States are responsible for providing graduates with the ability to
compensate for shortened training. This must be decided on a case by case basis, for
example by recognising practical experience gained during the pandemic.
Recognition of professional qualifications from third countries
professionals with qualifications obtained from third countries (countries outside the
EU/EFTA) can also be
recognised, provided that they meet the minimum criteria of Directive
2005/36/EC and harmonised EU requirements for health professionals.
If a person
holds a professional qualification that does not meet European minimum criteria, this person may be allowed to work in an
assistant role in accordance with national law. However, these persons
are not to be recognised as members of the medical professions.
Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has said that the guidance will help Member States to recognise medical qualifications so that healthcare professionals can
be deployed where they are currently most needed.