TB and the Health Requirement

We’ve done BLOG articles on Tuberculosis and health checks before.


Health Clearances HERE

I bring it up again, because it’s a stressful and confusing area for most people, and probably every month we will get a client with an Australian visa application who will be affected in some way by it.


Australia is largely free of TB. Once upon a time it was a major killer in the country, but it’s now largely eradicated and obviously the country has a wish to keep it under control. The Government, including the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, have a serious obligation to preserve the status quo. It’s one of those “can’t have it both ways” situations, ie.

(a) You want your wife, fiancee, sister, mum or cousin to get a hassle-free and delay-free visa, but;

(b) Would you want maybe your own kids infected by them if they had TB?

TB is one of those conditions that isn’t diagnosed that easily. They don’t take blood samples and identify the bacteria. It’s normally picked up from a chest xray, which will show “cavities” in the lung tissue. This is not always clear. We had a kid staying with us for 12 months undergoing treatment, and it took three lots of xrays to find it. There can also take sputum samples and then try to culture the bacteria from that in a lab.

The point I’m making is that it takes time to be certain. It’s neither easy nor responsible to try to rush it through for the sake of expediency.

The other thing I can’t help but think of is that whilst doctors here have had plenty of practice diagnosing tuberculosis, I really wonder how the average Aussie GP would go? Cousin Nessie just left, and your 6 month old child has a cough. You go and see the local bulk-billing production-line healthcare dispenser where you get your 5 minutes of quality doctoring. Will they naturally think “TB” like they will here in the Philippines? I doubt it very much!

So please try to understand that by copping that extra delay on the chin that you are taking one for the team…..Team Australia, as our esteemed patriarch likes to call it. Seriously, it IS a necessary evil. Please be patient.

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