U.K. to require TB screening as visa requirement
The cost of the screening and subsequent treatment is to be met by those seeking to enter the U.K. The Home Office said that the screening is meant to specifically target migrants from "high risk" countries, according to EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com.
The program is to be rolled out in the target countries over the next 18 months. As part of the plan, screening facilities are to be removed from British airports.
Recent figures show that there were more than 9,000 new TB cases in the U.K. in 2011, a five percent increase from 2010.
"The program is targeted at migrants after research showed non-UK born people accounted for three quarters of all new TB cases diagnosed - 20 times higher than in the UK born population", the Home Office said, EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com reports.
Immigration Minister Damian Green supports the measure.
"Tuberculosis is currently at its highest level in the UK for 30 years," Green said, EconomicTimes.IndiaTimes.com reports. "Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives."