BC taxpayers gave $1 billion to religious hospitals in 2015

Hospital and health care institutions run by religious organizations in BC received nearly $1 billion from the provincial government in 2015.

The BC Humanist Association's analysis of the publicly-accessible financial statements found over $930 million was paid by secular health regions, provincial government grants, MSP payments and pharmacare to six religious healthcare organizations. The largest benefactor was the Catholic Providence Health Care, which operates several hospitals, long-term care facilities in Metro Vancouver. The only hospital hospital in Comox Valley is St Joeseph's General Hospital, which is also Catholic.

This comes at a time when Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops are demanding that religious hospitals not be required to provide physician-assisted death. In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled suffering patients had the right to choose to die with dignity.

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director, BC Humanist Association:

In 2016 we should not be letting the beliefs of an increasingly fringe group of church leadership dictate what healthcare options are available to Canadians. Those beliefs don't reflect what Canadians believe and they don't even reflect what Catholics believe. It's time for a wholly secular public healthcare system that respects patients' choice.

Dying With Dignity Canada's latest video demonstrates the risk of allowing religious institutions to dictate the healthcare choices available to their patients.

A poll released last week by Dying With Dignity Canada showed an overwhelming majority of Catholics and Christians support the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on physician-assisted dying.

Government funding for religious healthcare institutions in BC:

Providence Health Care (Catholic)


St Joseph's General Hospital (Catholic)


Menno Hospital (Mennonite)


St Michael's Centre (joint Anglican-Catholic-United)


Louis Brier Hospital (Jewish)


Mount St Mary Hospital (Catholic)




Data taken from 2015 financial returns.

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