The British government has confirmed that foreign doctors wanting to treat NHS patients in England will have to prove they have the necessary English skills.
From April, there will be a legal duty to ensure a doctor's English is up to scratch before they are employed.
The Department of Health said foreign doctors will have to prove they can speak a "necessary level of English" before they are allowed to treat patients in hospitals or in GP surgeries.
A BBC health reporter said concerns were raised after a German doctor gave a patient a fatal overdose on his first shift. Dr Daniel Ubani had previously been rejected for work because of poor English skills.
"If doctors cannot speak English to a safe standard then the GMC must be able to protect patients by preventing them from practising in the UK,'' said General Medical Council chief executive Niall Dickson.