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Medical Surveillance

Are you new to Canada and living in BC? Have IRCC told you to complete medical surveillance? We can help.

Questions & Answers

You probably have a lot of questions about medical surveillance. The information below will help you understand the medical surveillance process and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements. To ensure you have the most current information, check the IRCC Medical Surveillance webpage.

TB clinics & COVID-19

We are committed to providing appropriate, timely and safe care to British Columbians. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

In response to COVID-19, we will continue to see the highest priority TB patients:

  • Virtual Care visits: For many people, your appointments will now be over the phone and not in person. We intend to limit in-person clinic appointments. 
  • Rescheduled visits: Appointments may be cancelled or postponed.
  • Medical surveillance is a medical check-up for a person newly arrived in Canada, to check that their inactive tuberculosis (TB) hasn’t progressed to active TB disease. 
  • Medical surveillance is required for anyone who was assessed as having inactive TB on their immigration medical examination (IME).
  • Medical surveillance ensures that proper treatment can be provided, which helps protect the health and safety of you, your family and your community.
  • Inactive TB is the only medical condition for which medical surveillance is required.
 
 

‎Find out if you need an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Find a doctor in your country, territory or region for your Immigration Medical Exam (IME). Only Panel Physicians approved by IRCC can do this exam. If you have questions about your IME, contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada directly. 

 
 
You need Medical Surveillance if:
  • On your immigration medical exam, an IRCC physician assessed that you have inactive tuberculosis (TB) and you’re already in Canada. OR
  • You’ve been contacted and informed you need medical surveillance by the Public Health Liaison Unit of IRCC.
An assessment of inactive TB means you may:
  • have had TB in the past.
  • have Latent TB Infection (LTBI).
  • have been exposed to TB bacteria.
Medical surveillance is essential to:
  • Ensure that your inactive TB hasn’t progressed to active TB.
  • Help connect you to the health care you may require to manage your LTBI.
  • Ensure you receive proper treatment should you develop active TB in the future.
 

If you were given a document at the port of entry telling you to report to your provincial or territorial public health authority in Canada within 7 or 30 days after arriving in Canada, disregard it. You only need to provide IRCC with your contact information when you have a home address and phone number in Canada.


Medical surveillance depends on your immigration medical examination (IME) results, which may have been a requirement for your immigration application process. If the results of your IME indicate inactive TB, you will need a medical check-up with a physician once you arrive in Canada. 

 

IRCC needs your contact information in Canada to start the medical surveillance process if you didn’t have that information when you submitted your application. Once you have your contact information, please email the Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC. 


 
 

Please wait for us to contact you.

  • The Public Health Liaison Unit at IRCC will tell the BCCDC TB clinics or your regional health authority that you’ve arrived in Canada.
  • The BCCDC TB clinics or your regional health authority are responsible for arranging your medical surveillance appointment. Each area has its procedure and timeline for managing these appointments. 
  • It may take months for you to be contacted. Please be patient and know that they have your information and will contact you.
  • If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of active TB, please see a doctor as soon as possible.

 

If you develop signs and symptoms of active TB disease, it is vital to speak to a healthcare provider right away. 

Some symptoms of active TB disease include:

  • cough for two weeks or more
  • fever
  • coughing up blood
  • sweating at night
  • constant tiredness
  • loss of weight or appetite

Are you worried about active TB disease? We can help. Contact your doctor, local health unit or one of our TB clinics.

Please wait for us to contact you.

  • Ensure you attend the medical surveillance appointment when contacted by the BCCDC or your regional health authority.
  • If you live in the greater Vancouver area (lower mainland), you will receive an appointment in the mail from BCCDC TB Services to come into one of our clinics in Vancouver or New Westminster.
  • If you live in another area of BC, your regional health authority will contact you to arrange your appointment.
 
Remember to bring valid government-issued photo identification (e.g., passport) and any medical surveillance forms or documentation.

The nurse will ask health questions, give you three sputum sample bottles, a chest x-ray requisition, and recommend other tests. Other tests may include a tuberculin skin test (TST) or a TB blood test (IGRA). Please complete all the required tests.  
 
 

You may have more than one TB appointment, depending on your test results, TB history or if you have any TB symptoms. It is essential to attend your TB appointments.


If you live in the greater Vancouver area (lower mainland): Once you have completed all the recommended tests, a BCCDC TB doctor will review your results and make recommendations. The IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit will be notified of your medical surveillance completion. 


Continuing TB care may be recommended once medical surveillance requirements have been met.


Other parts of the BC: Once you have completed all the recommended tests, a TB doctor will review your results and make recommendations. Your regional health authority will call you to discuss your test results and the doctor's advice. The IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit will be notified of your medical surveillance completion. 


Continuing TB care may be recommended once medical surveillance requirements have been met.

The average time to complete Medical Surveillance in BC is 6-9 months.

 

You have completed your medical surveillance if:

  • You had your TB appointment(s), and the IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit informed you that you met your medical surveillance requirement. OR
  • You had an IME inside Canada, a TB clinic saw you, and the IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit informed you that you met your medical surveillance requirement.


Note: The BCCDC TB clinics or your regional health authority may continue to follow up with you about TB. You must follow their instructions as you are also required to reach compliance with their records.


You may need to pay for some tests required as part of medical surveillance, unless:

  • You have the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) health insurance coverage. Go to the MSP Eligibility and Enrolment to apply.
  • You have private insurance. Depending on your provider, they may cover some or all of the costs of tests. Please check with your insurance provider.
  • You are a refugee. Refugees and refugee claimants may be eligible for coverage of IMEs and other TB-related medical services through the Interim Federal Health Program.
 
 
  • No. Active TB disease does not affect your immigration status in Canada or your family's status. 
  • Active TB Disease can be cured and treatment is free in BC. 
  • A TB nurse will work with you and your health care provider during treatment.
 
  • If you received an email notifying you of non-compliance, this means that you haven’t complied with the medical surveillance requirement associated with your immigration or visa application.
  • Medical surveillance is a condition of your status in Canada. You must complete your medical surveillance requirement as soon as possible. If you don’t, it may negatively impact any current or new immigration applications to Canada. For example, until BCCDC or your regional health authority confirms with IRCC that you’ve complied with medical surveillance. your Canadian citizenship application could be delayed.
  • If you’re having trouble completing your medical surveillance requirement, or believe you’ve completed it, email the Public Health Liaison Unit.
  • Provide your full name and unique client identifier (UCI) number in your email.

 
If you leave Canada, and you aren't in contact with the BCCDC TB clinics or your regional health authority, OR you haven’t completed medical surveillance, here are the things to do:
  • Notify the IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit by email that you’re travelling outside Canada.
  • If you have any signs or symptoms of active TB disease, see a doctor before travelling.
  • If you return to Canada and change your home address, phone number or email, make sure you email the IRCC Public Health Liaison Unit. Provide your full name and unique client identifier (UCI) number in your email.

Email:


If you have questions about medical surveillance, you can email the Public Health Liaison Unit at:

IRCC.MHBSurveillance-SurveillanceDGMS.IRCC@cic.gc.ca


Provide your full name and unique client identifier (UCI) number in your email.

 
SOURCE: Medical Surveillance ( )
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