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Medicine: mutual recognition of qualifications

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This directive aims to facilitate the effective exercise of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services as a doctor.

ACT

Council Directive 93/16/EEC of 5 April 1993 to facilitate the free movement of doctors and the mutual recognition of their diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications [See amending acts]

The current directive will be repealed and replaced by Directive 2005/36/EC as of 20 October 2007.

SUMMARY

The Directives are a consolidated version of all the directives aimed at facilitating the free movement of doctors which have been adopted since 1975.

They apply to the activities of nationals of the Member States working in a self-employed or employed capacity.

They make provisions for the automatic recognition in each Member State of the diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications which have been awarded to nationals of Member States by the other Member States and certify the completion of basic training (for list, see Article 3) or specialist training common to all Member States (for list, see Article 5) or some Member States (for list, see Article 7); in the last case, automatic recognition is restricted to those Member States which provide the training in question. In addition, where specialist training is not referred to in the Directives or, although referred to in the Directive, does not exist in the Member State from which the foreign national comes, the host Member State may oblige him to fulfill the training conditions required by its own rules; it must, however, take account of training periods completed in the Member State from which he comes.

They acknowledge the right of nationals of Member States to use in the host Member State the academic title obtained in the Member State from which they come.

Where a host Member State requires of its nationals proof of good character or good repute when they take up for the first time any activity of a doctor, a certificate issued by a competent authority in the Member State from which a foreign national comes will suffice as proof.

The Directives lay down minimum requirements for basic training and specialist training.

They also make provision for the institution of specific training in general medical practice. Such training must meet certain minimum requirements and, since 1 January 1995, subject to acquired rights, has been a condition for the exercise of general medical practice under a national social security scheme.

Directive 98/21/EC integrates, at the request of certain Member States, the designation of the occupational medicine.

Directive 98/63/EC amends, at the request of certain Member States, the designation of certain medical specialities common to all Member States.

Directive 99/46/EC amends, at the request of Italy and Spain, the designation of certain medical specialities.

In particular, Directive 2001/19/EC aims to:

  • incorporate into Directive 89/48/EEC the concept of "regulated education and training", already enshrined in Directive 92/51/EEC. The goal is to require the host Member State to take into account the education received by the applicant, including education received in a Member State in which the profession in question is not regulated. Under this new rule host Member States will not be permitted to require two years' professional experience;
  • ensure that the host Member State, when examining an application for recognition of a diploma, takes into consideration the experience acquired by the applicant after obtaining the diploma. The host Member State may no longer systematically require the applicant to take compensation steps, such as aptitude tests or an adaptation period, but must simplify and if possible eliminate these measures;
  • ensure legal certainty with regard to the recognition of diplomas obtained by Community nationals in third countries; the envisaged system gives each Member State the right to recognise or reject these diplomas except when a first host Member State has already recognised the applicant's professional experience. In this case a second host Member State may not directly reject the application for recognition but must justify its rejection;
  • extend the automatic recognition procedure, already applicable to general practitioners, to other physicians and to nurses responsible for general care, dental practitioners, veterinary surgeons, midwives and pharmacists. The main simplification lies in the updating of the lists of diplomas recognised at European level, since the Commission will from now on be able to publish lists of diplomas notified by the Member States on a regular basis (annexed to this document).

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 93/16/EEC15.4.1993-OJ L 165 of 7.7.1993

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden1.1.1995-OJ C 241 of 29.8.1994
Directive 97/50/EC25.10.1997-OJ L 291 of 24.10.1997
Directive 98/21/EC12.5.199831.12.1998OJ L 119 of 22.4.1998
Directive 98/63/EC5.10.199830.6.1999OJ L 253 of 15.9.1998
Directive 1999/46/EC22.6.199931.12.1999OJ L 139 of 2.6.1999
Directive 2001/19/EC31.7.20011.1.2003OJ L 206 of 31.7.2001
Regulation (EC) No 1882/200320.11.2003-OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003
Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic1.5.2004-OJ L 236 of 23.9.2003
Directive 2006/100/EC1.1.20071.1.2007OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

RELATED ACTS

Commission Communication on the denominations adopted by each Member State based on Article 41 of Directive 93/16/EEC regarding diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications and if the case arises, for professional qualifications of general practitioners [Official Journal C 216 of 26.7.1996]

Commission report of 9 September 1996 on specific training in general medical practice provided for by Title IV of Council Directive 93/16/EEC of 5 April 1993 to facilitate the free movement of doctors and the mutual recognition of their diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications [COM(96) 434 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
The report concerns the implementation of Title IV of Directive 93/16/EEC and, in particular, the minimum requirements for specific training in general medical practice. After giving an overview of the various general-practice training programmes currently available in the Member States, the report proposes a number of ways in which such training could be further harmonised and its level improved.

National notifications of lists of denominations of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications and of professional qualifications of general practitioners:
Official Journal C 393 of 31.12.1996.

National notifications of lists of denominations of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications and of professional qualifications of general practitioners:
Official Journal C 256 of 7.9.2000.

Last updated: 05.12.2007
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