Ten percent or 4,000 of the annual migrants to Australia are carriers of hepatitis B virus, said Professor Boughton in 1988 (hepatitis vaccine researcher) (Daily Telegraph 1988, as cited in McCormack 2003). Syphilis has drastically increased due to migration since the 1960s (McCormack 2003). Leprosy- and tuberculosis-afflicted migrants also passed undetected during screening according to the Australian Health and Medical Research Council in 1987 (McCormack 2003). These cases of infectious disease carrying migrants and refugees alarm the government as mentioned in the Medical Journal of Australia (McCormack 2003). Dr. Rouch (Victoria Chief Health Officer) reported that 10 African migrants in Victoria were later discovered to have AIDS in 1989 (McCormack 2003).
Cases of migrants bringing in diseases with them pose a grave concern for the government. Diagnosis, treatment and indirect cost (e.g. lost productivity, premature death) of the country for Hepatitis B is more than $50 million annually, as reported by Mr. Paul Gross (Director, Institute of Health Economics and Technology Assessment) in 1987 (McCormack 2003). The government is partly to blame for being lax in the screening process. But once discovered, the government resorts to deportation of immigrants instead of providing them with the necessary treatment. In the past, 19 Chinese (should be 20 but one escaped) with leprosy in Little Bay Lazarette hospital (Sydney) were shipped back to Hong Kong (The Age, 1896, as cited in McCormack 2003).