Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#Competence: 'Foreign NHS workers will have to re-take English tests under UKIP' - Farage

Tens of thousands of foreign health workers in the UK will be forced to take English language tests under a UKIP government, the party’s leader Nigel Farage said today.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Farage said it was “scandalous” that people are being treated by GP’s who “don’t speak very good English” and lamented the relative lack of British workers – particularly in nursing - on the National Health Service.

“Don't we want to live in a country where we speak the same language and isn't it scandalous that we are not training enough nurses and doctors in our own country?”, Mr Farage queries.

He added that it was “fairly obvious” UKIP would force all of the more than 130,000 foreign NHS workers to re-take English language competency exams.

Mr Farage cited the NHS’ own requirement that all doctors applying for a license to practise medicine in the UK should achieve a specific mark in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

He continued: “It’s something that people out there are talking about.  If people don't speak English and they are dealing with English-speaking patients surely they shouldn't be employed in the first place.”

However, Mr Farage refused to say whether a UKIP government would sack those NHS workers who were found to have poor English.

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