A novel approach to getting around proposed cuts to hospitals has arisen: start a church which would donate all its funds to helping to fund hospitals.
As reported, the government’s new budget proposal includes “reviewing” how much money hospitals get for technical equipment. Hospitals are already financially strained, and it does not appear as though more help from the state is on the way any time soon.
However, RÚV reports that Kristín Soffía Jónsdóttir, the chairperson of Reykjavík’s Health Care Committee, has come up with a way to get around it – starting a church.
The church, which bears the tentative name “The Church of Medical Science”, would collect donations and dues from its members. This money, in turn, would go in its entirety towards the technical equipment funds of the state hospital.
To be an official religion in Iceland, at least 200 people have to sign a willingness statement supporting the institution. At the time of this writing, over 1,100 people have signed a petition expressing their support for the Church of Medical Science.
However, Icelandic law also requires that those who have a religious organisation are obliged to offer funerals, weddings, baptisms and other religious rituals. Whether or not the Church of Medical Science will offer these services – and how – still remains to be seen.