New EU rules won’t “Kill the Pain” for bereaved Fenland family

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A new European law passed today (Wednesday 9 October) strengthening the right to undertake checks against foreign doctors, seeks to learn the lessons from the tragic death of a Cambridgeshire patient according to the local Euro MP who has championed the rule change.

Richard Howitt MEP told the European Parliament that the family of David Gray of Manea, who was killed after receiving a painkiller at 10 times the recommended dosage from a German locum doctor, are welcoming the changes but have yet to receive justice.

The new European law on professionals working outside their home country, requires better checks on qualifications, a minimum list of competencies and clarifies the right to test language skills, with specific focus on the medical profession. It was proposed by Labour’s European group and agreed by a massive 592 votes for with just 29 against.

The Cambridgeshire Euro MP emphasised that language testing had already been fully possible under previous EU law and condemned the fact the doctor responsible is still able to practice in Germany.

Speaking in the parliamentary debate, Labour’s Richard Howitt MEP said: “These rule changes learn the lessons from the tragic death of my constituent David Gray, killed by a lethal overdose of a painkilling drug, administered by an incompetent foreign doctor who should never have been allowed to work here.

“Although his sons Stuart and Rory welcome the changes, I express concern on their behalf as to whether the rules will properly be enforced given that language checks were permitted before and also because of possible conflict with German data privacy laws.

“The truth is that the doctor who killed David Gray is still registered for practice and undertaking locum work in Germany.

“The family have now been forced to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

“And there will be no peace for the family until justice in this case is achieved.”