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EC responds to Spanish doctors on COVID rules

The European Commission (EC) has responded to a petition submitted by the Consejo General de Colegios Oficiales de Médicos (CGCOM) on the legality of national law aimed at alleviating the shortage of healthcare workers during the COVID pandemic. In the petition, CGCOM stated that that the decision to grant, even temporarily, the competences of medical specialists to doctors who have not obtained their qualifications was wrong and that it ran counter to European legislation on the recognition of professional qualifications. The CGCOM said that the recruitment of doctors who do not have a specialist qualification, in order to carry out tasks specific to a specialist, was a clear breach of EU rules.

In response, the EC stated that the activities reserved to medical doctors differ between member states and it is therefore a decision to be made by the member state concerned whether it wants to open up certain activities to other medical or para-medical professions or even to trainee doctors for specialisations. EU law does not impose any exclusive reservation of specific activities for medical doctors or any other profession. The only restrictions that are linked to the minimum training requirements is that persons who are not fully qualified in line with the Directive are not allowed to use the professional titles mentioned in Annex V of the Directive and cannot carry out the scope of activities that are the same or closely comparable as that of a medical profession.