Asylum seekers not given health checks

Nearly half of all asylum seekers in Sweden do not receive a medical check-up after arriving, reports Swedish Radio News.

All asylum seekers have the right to a health screening to determine whether they need medical care and to detect contagious diseases like tuberculosis. The check-up is also a chance to inform asylum seekers about how Sweden's health and welfare systems work.

But Swedish Radio News found that four out of 10 applicants were not tested last year. Mohammed Sharkan was one of them and said none of his fellow asylum seekers living in Varberg, southwestern Sweden, received any medical examination.

"No one has asked me if I want to see a doctor, no one here has been asked," he said.

Robert Jonzon, of Sweden's Public Health Agency, is leading a project to encourage more applicants to medical exam. He said the Migration Board and local counties need to do a better job telling applicants about the purpose of the medical examination.