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Expatriate Healthcare News: Dubai 'to change healthcare policy'

Expatriates suffering with tuberculosis in Dubai are not to be deported, according to a recent move by the Dubai Health Authority.

Under federal law, expats who test positive for the disease must be deported, but Dubai is now considering opting out of this regulation, the National reported.

Dr Ali al Marzouqi, head of public health and safety at the health authority, told the newspaper that the law was outdated and served to drive cases of the infectious illness underground.

"It is not unlikely that Dubai will change its rules and stop deporting people. We have seen that this is not that effective and the population has changed a lot since the law was introduced," he commented.

The paper reported that officials in Abu Dhabi would also support a change in the law should Dubai opt out.

There is currently no uniform policy to treat infected expatriates before they leave the country and handling of cases can differ between emirates and even individual doctors.

Expats taking up jobs in some Gulf countries are expected to pass a medical fitness test first.

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