Edith Ingeborg Schippers (born 25 August 1964) is a Dutch politician who has served as Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport of the Netherlands since 2010.
A member of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), Schippers was a member of the House of Representatives from 2003 until 2010 and again, briefly, in 2012. Schippers was elected as deputy leader of the VVD in the House of Representatives in 2006, a position she served in until she became a minister in the first Rutte cabinet in 2010. After the second Rutte cabinet succeeded the first one, Schippers remained in her position.
Schippers was born in Utrecht, but spent her years attending primary school in Dordrecht. At the age of 12, she moved to Wachtum in Drenthe.
Edith Schippers' alma mater is Leiden University, where she studied political science from 1985 till 1991. She also spent half a year studying at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India in 1990.
In 1993, Schippers became personal assistant to member of parliament Dick Dees. She served in this position until 1994, after which she became a staff member of the VVD parliamentary fraction dealing with healthcare, welfare and sports. After that, Schippers found employment at employers' organization VNO-NCW. From 1997 until 2001, her portfolio as secretary for VNO-CNW included healthcare and the labour market and from 2001 until 2003 spatial planning.
Schippers was elected into the House of Representatives in the 2003 general election and was sworn in on 3 June of that year. Geert Wilders became her mentor. In 2006 she was elected as vice chairman of the VVD parliamentary party. Schippers considered this a great honour, but not her greatest success. In 2010 she succeeded Ab Klink in becoming Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport in the first Rutte cabinet. She briefly returned to the House of Representatives after the 2012 general election, but left again when the continuation of her ministership in the second Rutte cabinet was confirmed. In March 2017 she announced she would not return in a new cabinet.
Following the 2017 elections, parliamentary speaker Khadija Arib chose Schippers as the so-called informateur, whose role is to explore possible governing alliances.
Schippers was repeatedly accused of being a tobacco industry lobbyist, and was labeled "minister Tobacco", because she had ties to the tobacco industry and because she tried to revert the ban on smoking in bars and cafes. She also overcame three motions of no confidence in the parliament. One was issued in 2012, for not adequately informing the parliament about the costs of bringing the Olympics to the Netherlands. In the same year another motion of no confidence was issued against her and minister Henk Bleker, for the way they treated the issues surrounding Q-fever. In 2013 a motion was issued regarding her actions with regards to fraud in the healthcare sector. In 2016 this issue regarding her actions with regards to fraud in the healthcare sector was investigated on a Dutch talkshow
Schippers is married to Sander Speijker, a project manager for P5COM who is specialised in profit improvement and cost reduction in the healthcare industry.