From Iceland — More Priests Than Medical Clinics In Countryside

More Priests Than Medical Clinics In Countryside

Published October 23, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Grapevine Archives

Outside of Iceland’s capital, priests outnumber medical clinics, and some far-flung corners have no government offices at all.

Vísir reports that, according to data from the Icelandic Regional Development Institute, priests are considerably easier to find than medical professionals in many parts of the countryside. While priests are absent from 12 municipalities outside the capital area, medical clinics are absent from 15 of them.

Three municipalities – Svalbarðseyri, Stöðvarfjörður and Stokkseyri – have no government branch offices whatsoever.

Reykjavík is home to the seat of government, the National Church, and the main offices of nearly all public service departments. Outside of the capital area, Akureyri has the greatest concentration of public offices in the countryside. A significant number of public offices can also be found in smaller towns around the country, amongst them Ísafjörður, Sauðárkrókur, Egilsstaðir and Selfoss.

Outside of these municipalities, however, towns and villages around the country often greatly lack or are devoid of public services. This necessitates residents to travel, sometimes for hours by car, to obtain the services paid for through public revenues.

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