Health: Tuberculosis

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Spokesperson for Health

To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision is made for the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis, including drug-resistant tuberculosis, amongst failed asylum seekers and those in detention centres.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) is free to all people, including failed asylum seekers and those in detention centres.

The healthcare in immigration removal centres operates to a standard which is equivalent to that found in the community.

Detainees who have possible TB symptoms are investigated in line with standard NHS procedures, and treatment delivered is in line with the NHS clinical protocols, including for multi-drug resistant TB.

All detainees are seen by a nurse within two hours of arrival for health screening and are given an appointment to see a general practitioner (GP) within 24 hours. Where there are concerns, an appointment is made earlier. There after, detainees can access healthcare on demand subject to a triage service similar to that found in a GP's surgery.

Detainees who require secondary treatment are referred to the local primary care trust in the community.

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