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GPs may get bonuses for promoting contraception in teens

The government has published a new strategy document in which it proposes to reward GPs who promote long-term methods of contraception to teenagers.

Britain has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe and the government has set an ambitious target to halve the rate among under-18s by 2010.

This would bring the UK in line with other western European nations, but the new document points out that improving young people's knowledge and use of effective methods of contraception will be "critical" to achieving this goal.

The 'Healthy Lives, Brighter Future' strategy document states: "From 2009-10 onwards, GPs will be given greater incentives through the Quality and Outcomes Framework to provide advice on sexual health - specifically advice on contraception, particularly long acting methods."

However, the charity Family and Youth Concern has attacked the proposal, claiming that it is "tantamount to bribing doctors to facilitate underage sex".

Spokesman Norman Wells told the Daily Mail: "Parents of girls under 16 will be alarmed to think that doctors are going to be given financial incentives to provide their daughters with contraception behind their backs."

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GPs may get bonuses for promoting contraception in teens
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