Doctors Jeff Garrett and Andy Veale from Middlemore Hospital have called for potential immigrants to be screened for obesity and smoking habits because they place such a heavy burden on health services.
For some reason, Brenden Sheehan is now an expert on all issues, and has oppossed the proposal, saying:
“The issues of obesity are a problem facing both New Zealand and the Pacific community.
“I mean, if you’re going to discriminate against people who are overweight, what’s next? Do you then discriminate against people who are blind or who are deaf or are we back to the dark old ages of discriminating against people with disabilities?”
My answer to the above, is yes, yes and yes in so far as it relates to selecting immigrants.
Sensible immigration policy is based on selecting people who will contribute more to NZ, than they will cost. There are some limited exceptions such as refugees, but generally choosing immigrants is a highly discriminatory process. Now that is not to say being overweight, or blind or dea
df by itself should be an automatic barrier, but calculating likely health costs should be an essential part of the decision making process.
Of course once someone has been accepted to live in NZ, there should be no discrimination. But up until that point immigration is all about being selective.No tag for this post.