Legality of English test is in doubt

Parts of the English language requirements that IMGs must meet before they are allowed to practise may breach the Racial Discrimination Act, a Federal MP has claimed.

Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt raised the concern during the first public hearing of the parliamentary inquiry into the registration and support of overseas trained doctors.

At present, IMGs from non-English speaking countries must pass examinations testing their proficiency in the language. If they let their registration lapse for more than two years, they are required to re-sit the examination. 

Mr Wyatt said it seemed unreasonable, and discriminatory, to re-examine someone on a test they had already passed.

“If they have practised for two years and their registration lapses. [and] even Australian doctors trained here have issues around their registration lapsing… why should we put them back through an English-training test again?” he asked. “It would be