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TB screening should be included in physical exams: draft regulation | Updated: 2012-08-16 10:47

Screens for tuberculosis (TB) should be included in physical examinations for students, as well as people working in certain industries, according to a draft regulation issued by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

A draft amendment to the TB Prevention and Control Regulation was published Wednesday by the ministry for public comment. Last week, a previous edition of the regulation was published by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, or China's cabinet.

According to the draft, infected TB patients must be prevented from engaging in activity that could cause the virus to spread, while TB screening should be included in physical examinations for staff working in sectors related to TB prevention and treatment, food, drugs and cosmetics, as well as for teachers, newly-enrolled students, dairy workers and those whose work causes them to come into contact with dust and harmful gases.

Although the current regulation has been in use for more than 20 years, the country still faces problems and challenges related to the spread of respiratory illnesses.

The draft says health departments should protect patients' privacy and refrain from leaking their personal information and related materials.

Medical or disease prevention and control facilities that hide, delay or give false information regarding TB epidemics or intentionally leak the private information of TB patients, suspected patients and close contacts will receive a warning. Those found responsible will be disciplined or prosecuted, the draft said.

Designated medical institutions should register TB patients and launch emergency plans in the event of a TB epidemic, it said.

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