Eased visa health tests worry New Zealand doctors
New Zealand, 12th April: Easing requirements for health screening of foreign students could result in entry of people suffering from hepatitis and HIV.
This has been warned by several medical experts in New Zealand.
Eased health screenings for New Zealand student visa applicants—New Zealand immigration has decided to relax health tests for overseas students wanting to come to New Zealand to study here.
So, from July this year, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will have health screenings only for tuberculosis. International students seeking New Zealand student visas for studying here will not have to provide full medicals.
Meanwhile, the onus will now be on foreign students seeking New Zealand student visas to provide details about their health conditions since there will not be any medical test to check their ailment, if any.
Risk of arrival of infected foreigners--By discontinuing medical checks for international students applying for New Zealand student visas, the nation is allowing entry of increased number of foreigners having infections including hepatitis (B and C) and HIV, cautioned chairman of New Zealand Medical Association, Dr. Paul Ockelford.
Immigration New Zealand had refused New Zealand student visa applications not fulfilling health criteria in the period of one year till 29th February, 2010.
And this led to a significant fall in the applicants for New Zealand student visas. But, there are no records available to reveal the exact number of New Zealand student visa applications refused on the grounds of insufficient health standards, Immigration New Zealand revealed. That’s because New Zealand visas get rejected for a number of reasons.
Medicals savings will burden New Zealand taxpayers-- Average cost of health screenings for foreign students wanting to come to New Zealand is stated to be $250 and $400. But, the sad thing is that by saving medical screening costs, the nation is going to burden the taxpayer.
However, an official spokesperson of Immigration New Zealand affirmed that changes to New Zealand immigration rules will not diminish health condition requirements for foreign students in any way.
On the contrary, aim of such changes is to eliminate red tape while allowing best and low-risk students to come and study in New Zealand. Eased medical tests have thrilled several foreign students who will now get an opportunity to come and study in New Zealand without having to clear medical tests.