In Finland the local authorities are responsible for the provision of prenatal diagnostic services for the communities or the community pays for the visits of its citizens to the larger hospitals. The local authorities have autonomy in making the policies for prenatal diagnosis, which leads to an uneven availability of the services, i.e. availability of ultrasound (US) screening, maternal serum screening, and age limits for fetal chromosome studies due to advanced maternal age. The municipalities receive Government aid for health care. In all areas, US screening and screening for fetal chromosome anomalies either by advanced maternal age only or maternal serum screening are arranged. Families with special problems are sent to five university hospitals for prenatal diagnostic services. To make possible the prenatal diagnosis of the autosomal recessive diseases belonging to the Finnish disease heritage, a special effort has been made on their molecular genetics. The uptake level of ultrasound screening is on average 90%. In cases of abnormal findings, the patients are referred to central or university hospitals for further examinations. The uptake of amniocentesis (AC) or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) due to advanced maternal age is 50-85%. The high numbers come from southern and urban parts of the country. The uptake for maternal serum screening is probably of the similar or of even higher order. In addition to the public services, private prenatal diagnosis, US, maternal serum screening, AC and CVS are available in all parts of Finland.

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