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Immigrants Are Not Tested For Diseases

Sunday 17 Mar 2002

Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not test immigrants for a multitude of diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis, ACT Immigration Spokesman MP Penny Webster revealed today.

"Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel admitted in answer to my parliamentary questions that immigrants do not have to undergo any tests for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), leprosy, tuberculosis, venereal disease, hepatitis, typhoid, dysentery or any other infectious communicable disease.

"We are being extremely naïve to rely on the complete honesty of people who desperately want to enter our country.

"Our closest neighbour, Australia, has tested every migrant aged over 15 for HIV/AIDS for the past twelve years.

"We only test for syphilis, enteric fever and salmonella infection.

"Our health system in total disarray and stories of Third World diseases manifesting themselves are appearing, but we're not even doing the basics to find out what diseases immigrants may be bringing to New Zealand," Mrs Webster said.


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