UK introduces pre-entry TB test

Migrants from 67 countries with high rates of tuberculosis (TB) will need to be screened before they are granted a visa for the UK, Home Office has said.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said that the new tuberculosis screening programme will help save lives and save taxpayers more than £40 million over ten years.

“Tuberculosis is currently at its highest level in the UK for 30 years. Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives,” Mr. Green said. “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 is specifically targeted at migrants as research showed non-UK born people accounted for three quarters of all new TB cases diagnosed.

The costs of screening and subsequent treatment will be met by those people applying to come into the UK.