Image: ©HH

Population Screening Act: Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as a national population screening programme

Since 2017, all pregnant women in the Netherlands have been offered non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), which allows them to have their blood checked for indications that their foetus has syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) or Patau syndrome (trisomy 13). At present, NIPT is offered as part of a scientific research study (TRIDENT-2 study). The Minister for Health, Welfare and Sport wishes to incorporate NIPT into the nationwide prenatal screening programme, commencing April 2023. The Regional Prenatal Screening Centres have jointly applied for a permit to perform NIPT. At the Minister’s request, the Health Council's Committee on Population Screening evaluated the permit application against the requirements of the Population Screening. The Council recommends that the Minister grant the permit, subject to certain conditions. The Council believes that certain modifications must be made to the way NIPT is to be performed, as compared to how NIPT is currently being performed as part of the TRIDENT-2 study.