Science - July 1, 2004

Letter to the editor: X-rays

I absolutely agree with Ramin Roohparvar’s complaints in last week’s Wb. It is ridiculous that so many tests are carried out for TB. I also wonder whether the Tuberculosis Centre in Utrecht can explain the following: Dutch nationals returning from abroad are not subjected to this aspect of Dutch public health care. When I returned from eighteen years abroad in 2002 to reside in the Netherlands I did not have to undergo any tests. Nor did my four-year old son, who was born abroad, despite the fact that children are of course a high-risk group for TB. On the other hand, his mother, my wife, who is not of Dutch nationality, was examined with typically Dutch thoroughness. I hope that the GGD regards this as a matter of the colour of the passport, and not of skin colour. As far as I know TB does not recognise colour, not even of passports.

Elmar Veenendaal
Senior lecturer Nature Management and Plant Ecology

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