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Pope Francis with Italian radiographers at the Vatican yesterday (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has praised the work of healthcare professionals and called on governments to ensure universal access to decent healthcare. Source: Vatican News.

“A world that discards the sick, which does not assist those who cannot afford treatment, is cynical and has no future,” he said yesterday during a meeting with members of the Italian National Federation of Radiographers and of the Technical Medical Rehabilitation and Prevention Professions.

In his address, the Pope thanked healthcare technologists, along with other healthcare workers, for their “commitment and dedication”.

He noted that without their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic, many sick people would have not been treated in the past three years.

Looking ahead to the World Day of the Sick to be observed on February 11, Pope Francis said the day offered an opportunity to reflect on the experience of illness, which, he said, “is all the more appropriate today, indeed necessary, because often the culture of efficiency and waste pushes us to deny it”.

He remarked that the culture of care operates in the opposite way, focusing on the Good Samaritan whose example we should follow.

“The parable (of the Good Samaritan) shows us how a community can be rebuilt by men and women who identify with the vulnerability of others, who reject the creation of a society of exclusion, and act instead as neighbours, lifting up and rehabilitating the fallen for the sake of the common good.”

The Pope thus reiterated his call for States to find “strategies and resources” in order to guarantee everyone’s fundamental right to basic and decent healthcare, as called for in his Message for the XXXI World Day of the Sick.

“Health,” he stressed, “is not a luxury!”

Pope Francis: ‘Health is not a luxury’ (By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News)