Neonatal screening for haemoglobinopathies started in The Netherlands on 1 January 2007. The method of choice, high-performance liquid chromatography, and the universal setting have shown that the predicted incidence is indeed present in the country. Patients and carriers are reported in order to prevent morbidity, and for the primary prevention of serious haemoglobinopathies. Background, preceding discussion, health gain, implementation, provisional results and ethics issues are discussed, as well as matters concerning technology, know-how, and ongoing and future developments.
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Competing interests: None.