Pope Francis calls for shake-up of health care

A researcher at a Russian laboratory works on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine (CNS/Anton Vaganov, Reuters)

Pope Francis says health care must be made more accessible to the poor in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Source: CNA,

“Health care systems ... need to become much more inclusive and accessible to the disadvantaged and those living in low-income countries,” he wrote to members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences attending a three-day plenary meeting at the Vatican.

“If anyone should be given preference, let it be the neediest and most vulnerable among us. Similarly, when vaccines become available, equitable access to them must be ensured regardless of income, always starting with the least.”

He added that international bodies such as the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and the Food and Agriculture Organization should be “respected and supported” as they work for “the sake of the universal common good”.

In his message, the Pope underlined his appreciation for the pontifical academy, which traces its roots back to the Lincean Academy, one of the world’s first exclusively scientific academies, founded in Rome in 1603.

He said that, by bringing together experts from different disciplines to reflect on the crisis, the pontifical academy showed “how the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis should be addressed through coordinated efforts in the service of the entire human family”.

The Pope observed that the pandemic had affected not only health, but also work, education, and spiritual activities.

“In short, being unable to see a person’s face and considering other people as potential carriers of the virus is a terrible metaphor of a global social crisis that must be of concern to all who have the future of humanity at heart,” he wrote.

He added that the pandemic, combined with global warming and the loss of biodiversity, should encourage humanity “to rethink its course, to repent and to undertake an ecological conversion”.

FULL STORY

Pope Francis calls for shake-up of health care in wake of pandemic (CNA

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Pope urges science, technology to create inclusive society (Vatican News)

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