Pope Francis says "Let us always remember this: health is not a luxury, it is for everyone." to Healthcare Professionals FULL TEXT

Clementine Hall
Monday, January 16, 2023
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank the Madam President for her words of greeting. You represent thousands of healthcare professionals: this meeting therefore offers me the opportunity to renew my closeness and gratitude for what you do on a daily basis. I want to thank you for your commitment and dedication, especially when it's hidden. Healthcare professionals, in the last three years, have lived a very particular experience, hardly imaginable, that of the pandemic. It has been said on other occasions but it must not be forgotten: without your commitment and hard work many sick people would not have been treated. The sense of duty animated by the strength of love has allowed you to lend your work in the service of others, even putting your own health at risk. And with you I thank all the other healthcare workers.
In less than a month, 11 February, World Day of the Sick will occur, which always also invites reflection on the experience of illness. This is all the more appropriate today, indeed necessary, because often the culture of efficiency and waste "pushes us to deny it. There is no room for fragility. And so evil, when it breaks in and attacks us, leaves us stunned on the ground. It may happen, then, that others abandon us, or that we feel we have to abandon them, so as not to feel like a burden towards them. Thus begins loneliness" (Message for the XXXI World Day of the Sick).
The culture of care acts in the opposite way, personified by the good Samaritan (see Lk 10:25-37). He doesn't look away, he approaches the injured with compassion and takes care of that person that others had ignored. This parable indicates a precise line of behavior. «It shows us with which initiatives a community can be remade starting from men and women who take on the fragility of others, who do not allow a society of exclusion to be built, but who become neighbors and raise and rehabilitate fallen man, because the good let it be common” (Encyclical Brothers all, 67).
Dear friends, your profession is born from a choice of values. With your service, you contribute to "raising and rehabilitating" your clients, remembering that first of all they are people. In fact, the person must always be at the center, in all his components, including the spiritual one: a unified totality, in which the biological and spiritual, cultural and relational, planning and environmental dimensions of the human being are harmonized along the path of life. This principle, which is at the basis of your Federation's ethical constitution, guides the way and makes it possible not to give in to sterile efficiency or to a cold application of protocols. Sick people are people who ask to be treated and to feel cared for, and for this reason it is important to relate to them with humanity and empathy. Certainly with a high professional level, but with humanity and empathy.
But you too, healthcare professionals, are people, and you need someone to take care of you, through the recognition of your service, the protection of suitable working conditions and the involvement of an appropriate number of carers, so that the right to health is recognized for all. It is up to every country to work to find "strategies and resources so that every human being is guaranteed access to treatment and the fundamental right to health" (Message for the XXXI World Day of the Sick). Health is not a luxury! A world that discards the sick, that does not assist those who cannot afford treatment, is a cynical world and has no future. Let us always remember this: health is not a luxury, it is for everyone.
I urge you to always look to ethical values as an indispensable reference for your professions. Values, in fact, if well assimilated and combined with scientific knowledge and the necessary skills, make it possible to accompany the people entrusted to them in the best possible way.
Dear brothers and sisters, may the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary accompany you, whom the Gospel presents to us as a thoughtful woman who hastens to help her kinswoman Elizabeth. Watch over you and your work. I warmly bless you and your families. And I ask you please to pray for me. Thank you!
Source: Vatican.va