Tuesday, August 05, 2003


All immigrants entering the UK should be screened for infectious diseases, the Tories have said. Shadow health secretary Liam Fox said that the adoption of compulsory screening for immigrants and asylum seekers was essential to prevent such diseases being brought into the country. But the plan, outlined in a Conservative Party consultation paper, has been condemned as "extremist" by its opponents. The plans are set out in a Tory consultation paper called "Before It's Too Late: A New Agenda for Public Health", which suggests that immigrants could be screened for Aids and tuberculosis. In his introduction to the document, Dr Fox accused the government of having "stood silently by on the politically correct sidelines" while Britain had experienced a second AIDS wave "largely imported from Africa". The document goes on to state that more than 50% of tuberculosis in the UK now occurs in people born abroad, the majority of whom arrived in Britain within the last 10 years. The Tories said that their proposals for screening applicants are based on the Australian system.

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