The Liberal Democrats launched new proposals today to tighten rules on employing foreign doctors after the death of a 70 year old man treated by a doctor from Germany.

Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb called for a series of reforms, including a national language and competency test for every doctor wishing to work in the UK.

The demand comes after David Gray, from Manea, Cambridgeshire, died after he was given more than 10 times the recommended daily dose of diamorphine by Daniel Ubani, a locum doctor from Germany.

Dr Ubani, 67, had been on his first shift working for an out of hours medical service when the overdose was administered on 16 February 2008, an inquest into Mr Gray’s death has heard.

The Liberal Democrats said the reforms should include making sure that a suspension in one country is effective across the European Economic Area - covering the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

There should also be a criminal offence created for a primary care trust to allow a doctor to operate without ensuring compliance with regulations, the Liberal Democrats said.

Mr Lamb said: “These proposals will ensure that every doctor working in this country can speak English, is familiar with our health service and is well trained.”

The General Medical Council currently applies a test for English language proficiency and clinical skills to doctors from outside the European Economic Area before granting registration to work in the UK.

But it cannot apply the same set of tests to doctors from within the EEA - a situation described as “profoundly unsatisfactory” by Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC.