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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Coronavirus response in relation to the free movement of health professionals and their training

The Commission has issued a communication with guidance to EU countries to help them address the shortages of health workers created by the coronavirus emergency.

The communication addresses practical concerns regarding the implementation of Directive 2005/36/EC on professional qualifications in respect to healthcare professionals.

The guidance sets out how EU countries can speed up procedures to facilitate the mutual recognition of their qualifications in line with the flexibilities allowed by the Directive 2005/36/EC. It also clarifies how EU countries can ensure that the directive's rules on minimum requirements on doctors' and nurses' trainings can be respected in cases where students are not able to complete their trainings because of disruptions due to the coronavirus crisis, including by requesting a derogation from these rules. The guidance affirms the Commission's availability to support EU countries and professionals to weather the crisis, maintain their free movement rights and ensure patients' safety.