Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Down Syndrome Australia submission on adding NIPS to the Medicare Benefit Scheme

From Down Syndrome Australia, 4 February 2017

Over the last few years the capacity to test for genetic conditions such as Down syndrome before birth has increased. It is now possible to detect various chromosomal conditions prenatally through a blood test also known as a non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS). The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) received two applications in July 2016 to add NIPS to the Medicare Benefit Scheme.

For your information,  the applications that have been made to MSAC are here and here 

Down Syndrome Australia
has provided a comprehensive submission which outlines our concerns about these applications.
Down Syndrome Australia believes that prenatal screening must be accompanied by appropriate information to support families in making informed decisions about screening and how to respond to the results. Providing a screening test without ensuring informed consent, adequate support and up-to-date information regarding the results is unethical.

It is important to note that Down Syndrome Australia recognises the right of all women to choose to continue or to terminate a pregnancy. Marking such decisions can be extremely difficult and our concern is regarding the accuracy of the information being provided to inform that choice ...
If you want to provide your own feedback to MSAC regarding the listing of NIPS on the PBS you can write to: hta@health.gov.au

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