Vatican City, Apr 7, 2021 / 13:01 pm
Cardinal Peter Turkson called for a rethink of healthcare to include a “holistic vision of care” in his message for this year’s World Health Day.
“For a fairer and healthier world, it is necessary to acquire a different overall view on human health and care that takes into account the physical, psychological, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of the person,” Turkson wrote in the message published April 7.
The prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development said that it is necessary to “rethink the concept of health as integral health.”
“Acquiring this integral view allows us to understand that ensuring that everyone receives the necessary healthcare is an act of justice, that is, giving the person what is in his/her right,” he said.
“Those who care for the ill and suffering must have this overview, continually inspired by a holistic vision of care: a unanimous effort of health and pastoral workers for the integral health of their patients.”
The cardinal highlighted a document published by his Vatican dicastery earlier this year on mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 20-page paper, entitled “Accompanying people in psychological distress in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” addresses anxiety, despair, suicidal thoughts, and the need for community.
“The year 2020 will be remembered as a watershed year that separates the ‘before’ and the ‘after,’” Turkson said.