Plans to introduce compulsory health checks for asylum seekers and
migrants would be expensive and could cause more problems than they
solve, the government is being warned.
Proposals for enforced screening at ports of entry could push those
most in need of health care underground, according to a research
paper by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
The think-tank’s associate director, Heaven Crawley, said screening
would have little impact on the spread of diseases.
“There are also ethical and moral implications of returning those
diagnosed with HIV back to countries of origin,” she said.
Crawley acknowledged that public association of infectious diseases
with immigration was powerful and at the centre of wider concerns
about the impact of migration on Britain.
But she warned that the government should avoid the temptation of
introducing screening in order to “cool the political heat” because
the evidence about the positive benefits of such policies was
– Migration, Public Health and Compulsory Screening for TB and
HIV from www.ippr.org