Scottish Government religious subsidy of the week–4–Extra edition–NHS spends nearly £4 million pa on hospital chaplaincies

The Herald today reveals that the health boards in Scotland spend almost £4 million per annum on hospital chaplaincies.

Lothian Health Board pays £580,000 per annum for its chaplaincy department and grants nearly £20,000 for visits by Roman Catholic priests.

If the health service did not pay for these services would the churches not feel an obligation to attend to members of their flock in their time of need anyhow?

Churches and denominations benefit from tax relief and income and gains from their charitable status – as well as as rates relief and gift aid. Why then should the health service pay for them to fulfil their religious obligations to their members?

The Lothian Health Board Chaplaincy budget would fund at least 30 extra nurses. The whole Scottish health service budget on chaplaincy would fund at least 133 nursing posts.

The Herald story is at

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