To save UK taxpayers more than £40 million over the next 10 years , the UK is imposing a pre-entry tuberculosis (TB) screening programme for migrants seeking to enter the UK for more than 6 months.
For those intending to watch the London games, applying for the entry cleaance and undergoing pre-screening is now an Olympic event.
The Philippines was not included in the first list of countries but was recently added on May 21, 2012 to the list of 67 countries. If it’s any consolation, China is also on the list.
The pre-screening program is being implemented “as recent figures showed that there were over 9,000 new cases of TB in the UK in 2011, a 5 per cent increase on 2010. The programme 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.”
Immigration Minister Damian Green was reported by UKBA as saying:
'A third of the world's population is carrying tuberculosis and it is currently at its highest level in the UK for 30 years. It's essential that we take action to tackle its continued rise. Pre-entry screening, followed by treatment where necessary, will help to prevent the risk of TB in the UK and will also save lives.
Visa applicants will bear the cost of pre-screening which would be patterned after those being undertaken by the USA, Canada and Australia.