I want to work as a locum physician abroad, what do I have to do?

First of all it is important that you inform the national competent authority of the target country of the type and length of the intended period of activity before you begin. Professional medical activity within the European Union is regulated by the principle of the free provision of services.

According to Directive 2005/36/EC [PDF] of the European Parliament and the European Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications, a physician may carry out temporary and occasional services in another Member State (Article 5 onwards). In addition, it stipulates that medical qualifications should be automatically recognised by other Member States (Article 21 onwards).

A physician must inform the competent authority in the host Member State in advance of their arrival. In Germany this would be the State Health Authorities or regional government.

Within the scope of Directive 2005/36/EC [PDF], this means that the provider of services is subject to the same professional rights and obligations as any other physician, and must adhere to the professional code of practise of the relevant state.

Physicians travelling outside the European Economic Area (EEA) should seek information about the entry requirements for practicing medicine in that country from the relevant responsible authority. Details of these can be found in our country directory.