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The government will expand public health insurance coverage for tests and treatments for recurrent pregnancy loss to reduce the financial burden on patients, officials said Monday.

The government will set up a new subsidy system for such tests in fiscal 2021, which begins next April.

Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as repeated cases of miscarriages and stillbirths. Around 30,000 people are believed to develop the condition in Japan every year, according to a health ministry survey.

While general tests — including to check the shape of the uterus and blood tests — are covered by the health insurance, some tests still at a research stage are not.

The new subsidy system will cover tests that are partially covered by the insurance.

The government also aims to have safe and effective treatments be covered by the insurance in stages.

With some people who have experienced miscarriages and stillbirths suffering from depression and anxiety, the government plans to have counseling fees for such patients be covered by the insurance in the near future.

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