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Contemporary issues in health care

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health
Wordcount: 2761 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Contemporary Issues In Health Care

Compare and contrast how two named health care systems deal with one specific health issues.


The aim of this assignment is to choose two countries, and compare and contrast how these two countries deal one specific health issue. One country has to have a good rate of the health issues and the other one has to have a bad rate of the same health issue. The two countries that this assignment chooses to about talk are the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and the health issue that is going to be concentrated on is teenage pregnancy. This assignment will focus on comparing how both countries are tackling teenage pregnancy, the assignment will also talk about the amount of money both countries spend on sex education, also if teenage pregnancy has always been a problem, if both countries raise effective awareness on conceptions and etc, furthermore this essay will discuss about why teenage pregnancy is good in Holland and why the rates of teenage pregnancy keeps on going up in the United Kingdom.

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The reason why this topic is being explored is because the United Kingdom always seems to have a high rate in teenage pregnancy in Europe, and in countries like Netherlands teenage pregnancy always seems to be low. Therefore it will be good to compare these two countries and see why one country has a good rate of teenage pregnancy and why the other one has a terrible rate of teenage pregnancy, this can help understand where the united kingdom is going wrong for them to be always having a high rate in teenage pregnancy, and maybe they can see what the Netherlander do to prevent having such high rates of teenage pregnancy.

Teenage pregnancy is a contemporary health issue because the cost of teenage pregnancy is shocking. Teenagers who end up getting pregnant are less likely to complete secondary school, they are also less likely to get married, and also they normally end up going on benefits, when their children are born they don’t really have a good health, their cognitive development is normally slow, and they always tend to have behavioural problems.

Being a teenage parent sometimes comes with its own consequences such experiencing mental health problems, sometimes if the teenage mother is not getting any support from family and friends, they feel isolated and they always tend to find it hard to cope, so they start getting stressed out, having a low self – esteem, feeling anxiety and depressed which can lead to mental health. Teenage mothers that end up getting pregnant always tend to come from a lower working class, and living in deprived areas, and they always tend to have their second child quickly, this causes more stress on their well being, because they might be struggling with finance.

Main body

The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy across Europe, and whereas the Netherlands have one of the lowest teenage pregnancy rate. The reasons why the Netherland have such a low rate of teenage pregnancy could be because they are more opened to talk about sex with their children then parents and schools in the United Kingdom. The Netherland have a low rate of teenage pregnancy because they do sex education in schools, and parents normally have open talk sex with children, and adverts on televisions on how to prevent getting pregnant.

The United Kingdom and the Netherlanders sex education are similar, but there are also differences between the two countries on how and what they teach about sex education. The reason why the Netherlands sex education is more effective than the United Kingdom’s one is that, the Netherlander tell there children how to protect themselves from STI’s and unwanted pregnancy and how to avoid risky sexual behaviour, and when and how to use contraceptives. Whereas in the United Kingdom instead of teaching teenagers how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and how to prevent pregnancy, they promote more on how they should not be having sex.

Sex education in the UK is called (PSHE) and in Netherland they call it (CARE). (Hardy, J.B. and Zabin L.S. 1991) believe that sex education is less controversial in the Netherlands, mainly at political level, and there society is more open when it comes to issues about sex, but people sometimes tend to mistake their openness for permissiveness’. Studies believe that there is a political opposition to sex education from the smaller Christian parties in Netherlands; Politicians have the tendency to pass the issue over to professional sex educators, whereas in the United Kingdom the politics of sex education have been unfavourable, with major discussions about taking place over legislation passed in 1986, 1988, and 2000. Some politicians and families believe that sex education in schools is too explicit and it promotes homosexuality, and doing sex education in schools causes teenage pregnancy rather than prevent it. This can be argued that having sex education in school does not promote or encourage teenagers to get pregnant, because by having sex education in school, teachers are informing teens how to avoid risky sexual behaviour and they are also teaching them how to use contraceptives correctly, and also by teaching them about sex they will know how to protect themselves, also they will be aware of the consequences of having one or more children at a young age.

Teenagers who get pregnant at an early age tend to come from poorer backgrounds and from areas that are high with unemployment rates, daughters of teenager mothers, which always ends up being a vicious circle, and also young people that are in care.

Being under age and pregnant cost the British government £166,000 to raise a child until they reach their 21st birthday. 90 per cent of teenage mothers rely on benefits in order for them to survive. The British public fund course that cost around £100,000 that allows young teenage mothers as young as 14 to take these courses, this course is about helping them to be writing things up like CV, and teaching them the dangers of smoking whilst pregnant, and by them attending these courses they get paid £30 a week, and if they finish the 16 week course without missing any lessons they get £100 bonus. This could be argued that all the money that they are spending on these young mothers to do these courses could go towards trying to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy.

The British government are working towards their target of reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy by 2010. Their aim is to make sex education compulsory in all schools both in primary and secondary schools like in Netherlands, and to be going more in details about sex education, this will include teachers talking about contraception and relationship issues. The British government seems to be following the Netherlands footsteps in the way they approach sex education, with openness about sex from a younger age.

The reason why the British government wants to follow the Netherlands approach is because the Dutch children get taught about relationships from an early age, so they get comfortable as time goes by with talking about sex and contraception, so by the time that they are ready to be having sexual intercourse with the opposite they will know how to use contraception in order to avoid pregnancy and STI’s, and this will have a good impact on the country, because they will be a low rate of teenage pregnancy, so if the British government following these approaches, it could work for them also by having a low rate of teenage pregnancy across Europe. Although this kind of approach could be argue that it is encouraging young people to have sex, but statistics in Netherlands stated that there are fewer teenage pregnancies and the age that most young people in Netherland first have sex is higher than in most other developed countries.

Another way the British government is trying to tackle with teenage pregnancy is adverting young people to be responsible about sex and contraception on televisions, radios, internets and billboards. These kinds of promotions can be a good thing, because some young people might feel comfortable to be talking about sex amongst their peers, and these advertisements may even encourage some teenagers to talk about sex issues with their parents. Even though some people might argue that advertising sex and contraception will not solve teenage pregnancy, but it can be argued that it will not make the situation any worse, and these advertisements could be a break through towards teenage pregnancy, because some young people might think about their actions and use contraception more sensibly, because they have a knowledge of what the consequences are of not using contraception can lead to.

As we already know the United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy across Europe. Figures have shown that during 1996 there were 44,000

that gave birth below the age of 20, which signified around 7 per cent of all births

in Britain. The birth rate was 29.8 per 1000 women aged 15 to 19 years,

compare with 65.5 per 1000 for women aged 20-24 years. This could be argued

That in order to reduce such figures government should concentrate more on sex

education in schools.

Teenage pregnancy in Britain is usually identified as a problem for society,

According to (Peckham, S.1993) stated that reports of “medical, financial and

social problems for mothers and children following teenage pregnancy, is linked

with sex and education, and suggest how they should both be improved.

teenage pregnancy rates in the Netherlands have always being low due to the high

quality, explicit and early sex education in both primary and secondary schools. (Dr

Loon 2003) believes that sex education in the Netherlands starts at younger age then

The UK, it’s also more explicit, he also stated that the Netherlands are more

Independent than the United Kingdom and parents and the government in the

Netherlands have more power over what is being taught at school and also their

Influence of church helps a lot. This can be argued that there is a huge difference in

A way both countries approach sex education overall.

The awareness of teenage pregnancy is more effective in the Netherlands, than the United Kingdom, because they start talking to children about sex at the age of 11, parents talk to the children about as well, so from a young age they know about sex, and they know what they consequences are of having sex are, and even if they are ready to be having sexual intercourse they know how to protect themselves from getting pregnant and STI’s because they have being teaching them how to use contraception from schools, parents and media. Whereas the message is not really effective in the United Kingdom, even though the kind of messages that both countries is kind of similar, but one is more out there than the other, that why works more.

The UK provide the correct information about the risks associated with sexual activity the also talk about contraception and birth control, and how to avoid

Intercourse, they also focus on reducing specific risky behaviours. They don’t really promote safe sex on televisions as much as the Netherlands does, or start sex education at an early age. But recently the UK has started advertising safe sex on televisions and radios. Research have shown that “about 93 per of young people in the Netherlands use contraception, whereas in the UK 53 per cent of young people use contraception”. This could be because in Netherland they give out the message more about safe sex in schools, homes, and media than in Britain. Studies shown that teenagers in both countries found that boys and girls in the Netherlands gave love to each other, as one of the main reasons of losing their virginity, and boys in the UK do it because they are getting peer pressure.

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Teenagers in the Netherlands are obviously doing it for the right reason and they are having sexual intercourse they probably feel they are ready, but they are being responsible by taking the percussions needed, because adults like teachers and parents have being telling them about safe sex from an early age, and they understand the consequences of what will happen if they don’t take the right percussions needed. And some teenagers in Britain don’t know or understand the consequences of safe sex, because they don’t talk about sex at home, and at school the message that they send the most in sex education is don’t have sex, and obliviously by telling young people not to have sex, they are more likely to do it, so it’s better off telling them what percussions to take when they feel like they need to starts having sexual intercourse with opposite sex.


In conclusion this essay has found out why The United Kingdom has a bad rate of teenage pregnancy and why the Netherlands have a good rate of teenage pregnancy. They reason why the UK has a bad rate of teenage pregnancy, it’s because they don’t really talk about sex and contraction, you see they don’t feel comfortable talking to their children and student about sex and contraception, so in order for them not to talk about it they just tell the young people not to have sex, instead of telling them about it and how to use contractions and where to go and get it from. They just promote by telling them they are not allow to have sex, whereas in the Netherlands they are more open about telling their children about sex and contraception, and also there children are taught sex education at an early age, unlike in the United Kingdom.

The UK is working towards halving the teenage pregnancy rate by 2010, by following the approaches that the Netherlands use, by starting sex education at an early age, obliviously at age that they feel is right for the children, talking about sex and using contraception more, than promoting young people not to be having sex, also promoting using contraception’s on television, radio’s, internet, and on billboards. By doing is it can eventually make a change towards teenage pregnancy rate in the United Kingdom.


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