Duncan Lewis


Asylum, Detention/ Fast Track

Managed Migration, Public Law

New screening for tuberculosis to screen migrants before their entry into UK which ministers say would save lives and taxpayers money

Date: (22 May 2012)    |    

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The Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced a new plan to screen patients with tuberculosis which over the period of ten years would not only save lives but also save taxpayers more than £40 million.
The new measures would affect those migrants who would like to enter into UK for more than six months from 67 countries which are highly prone to Tuberculosis (TB). They would need to clear the screening to get a visa to enter the UK.
Immigration Minister Damian Green said TB was currently at its highest level in the UK for 30 years. Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, would help in preventing the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives.
Removing screening facilities at airports will save the taxpayer £25 million over ten years and further NHS savings will be made by preventing the importation and spread of TB in the UK.
The introduction of pre-screening was specifically targeted at migrants as research showed non-UK born people accounted for three quarters of all new TB cases diagnosed.
Damian Green said the scheme for migrants coming from countries including China, India, Morocco, Nepal, and South Africa, will help save lives and will also save more than £40 million over 10 years.
Under the new visa rules, which will be brought in three stages over 18 months, infectious TB sufferers and those diagnosed with active TB will be denied entry to the UK.
The pre-entry screening will replace screening at UK airports after a pilot scheme in 15 countries found 300 active cases among 400,000 migrants.
TB kills 1.8 million people worldwide each year.
The costs of screening and subsequent treatment will be met by those people applying to come into the UK, the Home Office said.