Monday, December 18, 2023

Health care for migrants puts the human person first


Pope Francis greets members of the delegation from BariPope Francis greets members of the delegation from Bari  (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

Pope Francis: Healthcare must put human person at the centre

Pope Francis meets with hospital staff from the Italian city of Bari, and praises their efforts to provide healthcare for migrants and training for medical students.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis held an audience on Monday with a delegation from the F. Miulli Hospital in the southern Italian city of Bari.

In his address, the Pope highlighted two important aspects of which the healthcare facility should always be aware: “putting the person at the center and promoting scientific research”.

Centrality of human person in healthcare

Speaking about the centrality of the human person, Pope Francis recalled the founding principle of the F. Miulli Hospital—set up over 900 years ago—which is to be a “hospital for the poor who are ill”.

He said hospital staff should help provide people in need with a “place that is welcoming and safe in which they can find refuge.”

“Your mission has made you a dynamic reality which is constantly growing,” he said, “as borne out by the way in which you often renew the care you provide and the hospital facilities, in order to offer a more complete service to patients.”

Pope Francis expressed appreciation for a recently opened clinic for migrants, which was set up together with the Caritas outfit of the Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto.

Creating virtuous cycles of research and care

The Pope went on to praise the Miulli Hospital’s dedication to scientific research, in collaboration with various Italian universities.

The hospital’s work to train future doctors and nurses, he said, “provides an opportunity for the best local talents not to emigrate,” adding that “emigration is a problem that impoverishes our lands.”

He also praised their efforts to encourage “other high-level professionals to come and work in Italy, fostering an enriching exchange of skills across broader horizons.”

In conclusion, Pope Francis thanked the staff of the F. Miulli Hospital in Bari for the “virtuous cycle” they have created and for seeking to offer the best medical care to the many people who seek out their assistance.

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