BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 16:39 GMT
Immigration health risks under review
Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, Bedford
The review will examine immigrants' health
The UK government is to launch a major review into the impact of immigration on public health.

The cross-departmental review will aim to establish how many people arriving in the UK have a serious infectious disease.

It will also examine what steps need to be taken, if any, to protect the wider public.

The government is undertaking a comprehensive review of imported infections and immigration

Home Office spokesman
The move follows a sharp rise in infectious diseases in the past year.

Public health officials are particularly concerned about the increase in tuberculosis cases.

High rates

A recent report suggested that infection rates in some parts of the UK are now at Third World levels.

Official figures also show that three out of four heterosexuals who were diagnosed with HIV last year were from Africa.

In addition, the Public Health Laboratory Service estimates that 6,500 migrants with chronic hepatitis B infection are entering the country each year.

The Cabinet Office is to carry out a study to establish the facts surrounding immigration and public health.

Ministers will use that information to decide if any action is needed.

"The Cabinet Office has been commissioned to establish the facts on immigration, asylum and related public health issues," a Department of Health spokesman told BBC News Online.

"The review follows an upsurge in infectious diseases globally over the past few years. It is part of good practise."

A spokesman for the Home Office said the review would be comprehensive.

"The government is undertaking a comprehensive review of imported infections and immigration which is involving discussions between the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office," he told BBC News Online.

Immigration experts estimate that as many as one million people are living in the UK illegally.

Many of these come from countries with high rates of TB, HIV and other serious infectious diseases.

See also:

04 Dec 02 | Health
23 Oct 02 | Health
04 Dec 02 | Health
Internet links:


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

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes