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  Time Line TB in Canada

 1948 - ON X-rays Immigrants For TB

Dr. G.C. Brink, Director of the Division of TB Control in the province of Ontario, went to London England to inaugurate the x-raying of all emigrants coming to Canada under the Ontario government’s air transportation scheme. Dr. Brink took x-ray equipment with him to begin the program.

A man is x-rayed for signs of active tuberculosis, in Nova Scotia, in the 1960s. By this time, x-ray technology was fast and efficient; participants were now able to remain fully clothed during the x-ray.


Today, about one third of the world’s population is infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Thus, Canadian law still requires that immigration applicants over the age of 10 receive physical examinations and chest x-rays to screen for active tuberculosis. However, there has been no evidence to date to support the claim that tuberculosis among the foreign-born makes any difference to the population already living in Canada. This screening process for immigrants into Canada has a huge price tag, and researchers suggest that Canada’s money would be better spent helping the developing world to treat their tuberculosis problems and "re-establish Canada as a leader in addressing the global tuberculosis problem".

-- Fanning A. 1995. The impact of global tuberculosis in Canada: we are our brothers’ keepers. Can J Infect Dis 6(5):225-227.