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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Vatican underlines support of universal health care coverage

The Vatican supports efforts to build stronger and sustainable essential health care services on the way toward achieving universal health coverage, a Vatican official said.

The Catholic Church is part of this effort in providing primary care to people in need and always “with due recognition to the sacredness of human life, from conception to natural death,” said Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Vatican observer to UN agencies in Geneva.

Speaking to the executive board of the World Health Organization on 28th January, the archbishop noted the organisation’s call for a renewal of primary health care and the Sustainable Development Goals’ target of universal health coverage to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

“The Holy See affirms the call to mobilise all stakeholders to take joint action to build stronger and sustainable primary health care toward achieving universal health coverage,” he said in a brief address.

In fact, over the course of 2018, “Catholic-inspired organisations provided health care at 5,287 hospitals and 15,397 dispensaries, 15,722 residential programs for the elderly and for persons living with debilitating chronic illnesses and other disabilities in all parts of the world,” he said.

Picture: Sarah Plant comforts her grandmother, Barbara Lant, who awaits treatment at Milton Keynes University Hospital on 26th June 2018. “If we had to pay for health care, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it. I don’t really want to think about what it would have been like,” said Plant. (CNS photo/Hannah McKay, Reuters).