Migrants with HIV, cancer allowed to settle

Natasha Bita; 28/1/10

Chronically ill foreign workers and their families, including those with HIV-AIDS, will be allowed to settle in Australia for the first time as the Immigration Department loosens its stringent health rules to alleviate the skills shortage. The department is widening a loophole that lets it waive the health requirement for some sick dependants of Australian citizens. Taxpayers will spend nearly $60 million on healthcare for 288 migrants granted special clearance last financial year to live in Australia, despite failing health exams. These included 59 cases of HIV infection, 10 of cancer and 26 of intellectual impairment. Most of the waivers were granted to the foreign partners of Australian citizens.

Health waivers to immigrants granted in 2008-09
– 138 – Applications from temporary immigrants within Australia where applicant or family member failed health requirement; cost $1.6million
– 150 – Applications
 59 Cases of HIV – $14m
 26 Cases of intellectual impairment – $1.2m
 10 Cases of cancer – $751,000
– Source: Access Economics, Department of Immigration
See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/migrants-with-hiv-cancer-allowed-to-settle/story-e6frg6nf-1225824134006