Free medical care for UAE's TB-infected residents

Free medical care for UAEs TB-infected residents
Officials clarify changes in TB policy on Tuesday. - Supplied photo

Dubai - No new visas will be issued to people with active TB or cured TB, which leaves them with a scar.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Wed 23 Mar 2016, 7:44 PM

Close relatives of UAE residents suffering from tuberculosis (TB) will be treated free of cost by the government, health officials have confirmed.
However, no new visas will be issued to people with active TB or cured TB, which leaves them with a scar.
The policy change comes as good news to thousands of people ahead of World TB Day that is marked on March 24 each year.
As reported by Khaleej Times on February 26, spouses, parents and children of UAE residents who have active TB, TB scars or old TB will be allowed UAE residency provided they follow a strict treatment protocol. Students, investors and diplomatic corps are also part of this exempt category.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention clarified that those who have been deported and banned from entering the UAE earlier due to the disease can re-apply for a visa provided they have a first degree relative in the UAE who can sponsor them.
The officials cited an amendment in the 2008 law made by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai last month, in this regard.
"Those who had been asked to leave the country earlier due to TB, including those who have been banned, and are now wishing to come back can reapply," said Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Acting Director of Preventive Medicine Department at the ministry.
"TB is no longer a stigma.if any UAE resident is found to have TB, he/she will no longer be deported as was being done earlier but will be quarantined and treated until the disease is no longer infectious (2-3 weeks)," said Dr Nada.
The changes in the law are part of a new medical fitness policy that the UAE has adopted. Other changes in the law include compulsory TB screening for all residents renewing their visas.
However, if found infected with TB, they will be given a residence visa for a year and will have to follow a strict treatment guideline.
No health cards will be required as a pre-requisite for those undergoing medical fitness tests in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as compulsory insurance is being implemented, said Dr Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for Health Centres and Clinics at the ministry.
However, medical cards will still be needed in the five other emirates 

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