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Over 6,000 migrants with dangerous diseases identified in Russia

February 21, 2012, 13:45 UTC+3

Last year Russia exposed over 6,000 migrants with dangerous diseases, including tuberculosis and HIV

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MOSCOW, February 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Last year Russia exposed over 6,000 migrants with dangerous diseases, including tuberculosis and HIV, the chief of the consumer rights watchdog, chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko said at an enlarged on-site meeting of the Federation Council’s social policies committee on Tuesday.

In all, 6,114 migrants in January-December 2011 were advised that their further presence in Russia would be desirable due to their infectious and viral diseases. In particular, 1,200 men and women proved to have an HIV infection, and over 2,600 of them tuberculosis.

Onishchenko briefed the upper house members on a number of problems related with identifying and treating migrants.

“”We are unable to empower the medical services of the countries of origin to certify their citizens,” the chief sanitary doctor said, adding that otherwise there would be effective treaties on the mutual recognition of medical documents.

“If all of a sudden Germans start pouring in, we shall believe German doctors,” he said, adding that there was no such trust towards the health authorities of Central Asian countries. “Their mentality as it is, all of them (migrants) will be coming with impeccable health certificates worthy of astronauts,” Onishchenko said.

He recalled that currently migrants from such countries must undergo examination in Russia within a month and, should any infectious diseases be identified and their presence in the country declared undesirable, they will have another 10-15 days to leave of their own accord.

Onishchenko said that if there is established a system of medical treatment of migrants in Russia at the expense of the budget, crowds patients will be coming to us for treatment.

The chief of the consumer rights watchdog believes that this problem may be resolved through creating an appropriate regulatory basis with the country of origin, or by placing the responsibility to pay for the treatment of labor migrants on their employers.

“Also, the problem of illegal migration is still there, and this is a dead zone. An illegal migrant will never come to a health service establishment on his own. But they keep living among us,” Onishchenko said.


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