NIPT fetus test covered by basic health insurance from January

Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst). (Edith Schippers (Photo: Commonst))

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health plans to add the NIPT-test to the basic health insurance package from January 1st next year, she wrote in a letter to parliament on Wednesday. "If the Health Council has no major objections, then I intend to give authorization for the NIPT test to be the first option. I expect to do this before the summer", she wrote, according to broadcaster NOS.

The NIPT test is a simple and non-invasive blood test that can determine whether an unborn child has certain abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome. The test can be done at an early stage of pregnancy, giving the mother the option of abortion should there be abnormalities.

The test is already available for women who have an increased risk of having children with a disorder. Last month a majority in the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, voted to make the test available to all women.

Opponents of the test fear that it will lead to a Donw's syndrome-less society. They worry that the availability of the NIPT test will put more pressure on mothers to abort a child with Down's syndrome.