HC Deb 13 January 1992 vol 201 cc524-5W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what instructions the Chief Medical Officer has given port medical inspectors with regard to incoming foreigners who have, or are suspected of having, HIV or AIDS.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

The Department reissued guidance to port medical inspectors of health in the form of an executive letter (PL/C MO(9 1)1 5) in October 1991. A copy of which is available in the Library.

The guidance provides information for port medical inspectors of health on the action to take should the immigration service ask for a report upon a passenger seeking entry to the United Kingdom who has, or is suspected to have, AIDS or other illnesses associated with HIV infection.

The guidance informs port medical inspectors of health that HIV infection (including AIDS) should not in itself be considered justification for a recommendation on public health grounds to refuse leave to enter the United Kingdom. It provides information on how the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Amendment Regulations 1988 apply to HIV and AIDS services. It seeks to ensure that confidentiality is maintained where a passenger with HIV infection is referred to a port medical inspector.

Mr. Chris Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the conclusion of his Department's report on AIDS and life insurance on whether people are deterred from having an HIV test or counselling by the nature of the questions asked by life insurance companies on proposal forms; what representations he has made to the life insurance companies on this matter; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs Virginia Bottomley

The report by the British Market Research Bureau jointly commissioned by the Government and the Association of British Insurers, concluded that thousands and possibly tens of thousands of people were put off taking an HIV test because of the questions on insurance proposal forms. We recognise that the insurance industry requires information for risk assessment, but believe that this can be obtained in ways which do not deter people from seeking testing or help. Discussion of this important matter is continuing with the Association of British Insurers.