Weekly Highlight: 04.03.2008

Denmark: Oh man, I think I will be falling into that category too 😦

Mothers getting older

Women in Denmark are waiting longer than ever to have children according to the latest health department figures. 
New figures from the National Board of Health indicate that Danish women are waiting longer to have their first child.
In 2007, the average age for a first-time mother was 29.1 years – the highest figure ever recorded and part of a trend of mothers getting older before giving birth.
Only 10 years ago, 54 percent of new mothers were under the age of 30. Today that figure has dropped to just 43 percent.
In addition to the rising age of first-time mothers, the number of children born continues to fall as well. While the number of babies born increased yearly from 1983 to 1995, the figures have dropped dramatically since.
There were approximately 64,000 births in 2007 – the lowest figure since 1990.
Many experts believe that it is not only women’s careers that are to blame for the delays in giving birth, but also a growing social attitude that getting older means being more responsible.
While this may be the case, statistics show that the older a mother is when giving birth, the greater the risk for chromosomal abnormalities or stillbirths.


More Men Buying Sex from Minors
Published 02.03.2008, 15.32

More and more men are buying sex from minors, reports the Helsingin Sanomat’s web edition. The paper says that 178 such cases have come to the police’s attention just in the past year – but that this is believed to be just the tip of the iceberg.
Police are investigating cases where 13 to 17-year-olds sold sexual services for money – although they say that alcohol, drugs, CD’s, jeans and clothes are an even more common form of payment. Around one in three underage prostitutes are boys, but as far as police know, all of the customers have been men.
The crime is difficult to track, as both buyer and seller are keen to keep the transaction secret. While prostitution is legal in Finland, buying sex from minors is not.
Prevention or investigation of child prostitution is extremely difficult, as the deals are usually struck over the Internet, or in places where teens hang out.


Eleven million use internet
Monday 03 March 2008

The use of internet in the Netherlands continues to grow but internet skills lag behind in European terms, reports the national statistics office CBS on Monday.
Younger people are most active on the internet – 57% download music and films, 54% use chat sites and 50% use internet phone services. Older people mainly use the internet to search for information and to send emails.
Some 11 million people of the 16 million population use internet but only one in seven is ‘very skilled’, says the CBS. Estland and Finland top the skills rankings while Cyprus and Ireland are bottom of the list.

Norway: too many doctors?

‘Doctor boom out of control’
First published: 26 Feb 2008, 15:21

State auditors claim Norwegian hospitals have been hiring too many doctors, and that staffing procedures “seems to be out of control.” With budget cuts looming, physicians now face layoffs.
The national hospital in Oslo (Rikshospitalet) is among those facing budget cuts of as much as NOK 500 million. With personnel costs making up 60 percent of the budget, at least 30 to 40 doctor positions are likely to disappear.
The state auditing agency Riksrevisjonen told newspaper Aftenposten on Tuesday that the hospitals have been hiring far more doctors in recent years than state regulations allow. The regulations are meant to ensure an adequate spread of doctors at hospitals around the country.
The regulations, for example, allowed the hiring of around 1,200 specialists since 1999. Instead, 2,410 ended up on the state payroll. In one year alone, when 180 new positions were approved, 462 specialists were hired.
“It seems to be out of control,” Therese Johnsen of Riskrevisjonen told Aftenposten.
When asked how this could happen, she said that quotas allocated to various hospitals “haven’t been respected” or that the hospitals lacked oversight. “We think it’s a management problem,” she said.
In some cases, it’s likely that doctors were taken on as extra help during the summer holiday period, and then didn’t leave when the summer was over. Meanwhile, budget deficits grew.
Even the Norwegian medical association, which represents doctors, agrees it’s “time for some clean-up.,” according to association president Torunn Janbu. She claims the association also wants to see regulations respected so there’s order in the system.

Sweden: Swedish boleh spirit? 😛

Swedish firms seek patents in record numbers
Published: 4 Mar 08 07:23 CET

Swedish companies set a new record last year for the number of international patent applications.
With 3,533 requests, Sweden came in tenth place worldwide, according to Dagens Nyheter.
“What’s interesting with this report is that we broke the old record which was set during the IT-boom,” said Fabian Edlund, a consultant with the company Awapatent, which compiled the figures.
Telecoms giant Ericsson tops the list of Swedish companies with 597 international patent applications.
The world’s most prolific company when it comes to patent applications is the Japanese electronics giant Matsushita.

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