Immigration Medical Surveillance for Tuberculosis (TB)

What is Immigration Medical Surveillance for TB?

During the immigration process individuals may be placed on Immigration Medical Surveillance (IMS). These individuals may have latent TB infection (LTBI) and are usually identified as being at high risk for developing active TB disease. Through their immigration medical exam prior to coming to Canada, they may have had an abnormal chest x-ray or a previous history of TB.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements

  • Individuals placed on IMS for TB are required to report to their local health unit following their arrival in Canada and complete a medical examination, including a chest x-ray. Those who have been given an Urgent Immigration Medical Surveillance Referral must complete a medical examination, including chest x-ray within 7 days of their arrival
  • Persons placed on IMS after arrival in Canada must be followed up with a medical assessment and chest x-ray in the same manner as those persons who arrive from outside Canada

What is the purpose of the medical assessment?

People placed on medical surveillance are required to have a medical exam by a doctor. This medical exam is to assess for active TB, recommend preventative treatment where indicated and determine if continued follow up is warranted.

What should be included in the medical assessment for TB medical surveillance?

The medical assessment consists of:

  • A complete medical history, including any history of previous TB treatment or exposure
  • Physical exam
  • Chest x-ray (mandatory)
  • One to three sputum specimens collected for acid fast bacilli (AFB) and TB culture, using a public health requisition for people who are symptomatic, have an abnormal chest x-ray, or a history of TB
  • Additional tests as needed

Once the individual is assessed, please return the completed Tuberculosis Physician Reporting Form via fax to 905-825-8797.

This will allow for reporting back within the required time limits to IRCC that the individual has been compliant with the medical surveillance undertaking.

If active TB is suspected as a result of the medical assessment, please call Public Health at 905-825-6000 or 311, ext. 7341 or fax 905-825-8797.