‘Ireland can and should have a world-class healthcare system’ – Martin

Archbishop calls for more openness regarding healthcare

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was speaking on  World Day of the Sick in the Church of Corpus Christi in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was speaking on World Day of the Sick in the Church of Corpus Christi in Drumcondra, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has called for more openness where health matters in Ireland are concerned.

“Confidence can only be gained through openness. People want to know honestly why things go wrong and when all is not all right. The answers will not come from polemics,” he said.

“Ireland can and should have a world-class healthcare system. We have to get on with that,” he added.

Archbishop Martin was celebrating Mass on Sunday afternoon to mark World Day of the Sick and anointing of the sick in the Church of Corpus Christi in Drumcondra, Dublin.

“We gather as a community to celebrate the Church’s World Day of the Sick. We gather not as experts and professionals. Yes, some of those among us are indeed professionals and we appreciate the gift of their professionalism,” he said.

“Care of the sick is, however, something that involves all of society. It involves community and a special form of community that feels the call to be with the sick and to give them something of ourselves and to learn something from them. We come together at a time when confidence in our national healthcare system is tested in many ways,” he told the congregation.

“On this World Day of the Sick we are called as a Christian community not just to hold a prayer service; we are called as a church community to become a community that reaches out to the sick who so often suffer as much from loneliness than from their specific illness.”

He noted the theme Pope Francis chose for the World Day of the Sick: “You received without payment; give without payment.” He said the pope stressed that caring for the sick required not just professionalism, but a professionalism marked by “tenderness, straightforward and simple gestures freely given, like a caress that makes others feel loved”.