[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 01:55 GMT 02:55 UK
Warning over health professionals
People are putting their health at risk by visiting specialists without first checking if they are qualified, an independent watchdog has warned.

The Health Professions Council (HPC) said a survey showed seven out of 10 patients in Birmingham received medical treatment without making any checks.

In contrast, less than one in 10 people said they would let an unqualified gas engineer carry out repairs.

The HPC registers those working in 13 health-related professions.

They include dieticians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists.

Marc Seale, HPC chief executive, said: "Most of us wouldn't let an unqualified electrician loose in our house, yet around two million adults in Birmingham haven't taken the time to check whether the specialists treating their health issues are qualified."

The HPC urged people who are heading direct to health professionals, without being referred by a doctor, to check their website database of registered practitioners.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific