Bishop Gerald Lobo Inaugurates Catholic health care mission seminar
Udupi: The Health Commission of Udupi Diocese and the Karnataka Regional Health Commission Jointly organised a seminar on Present Scenario Challenges and opportunities of the Catholic health care mission at the Bishop’s House here on Monday, July 17.
The programme began with an invocation by Viola, Mvrel and Jevita followed by Fr Valerian Mendonca reading out the Gospel Message. Dr Leslie Lewis, MD (Paediatrics) KMC Manipal welcomed the gathering. Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo Bishop of Udupi Diocese inaugurated the seminar by lighting the lamp.
In his message, the Bishop said that food, clothing, shelter, education and health are the common basic needs of all people at all times over the world. According to the Bible, there cannot be a proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ unless the concrete actions of Christ that He went about doing good is translated into action by the Church also in the health care mission and ministry. This is one of the reasons why the Church all over the world while establishing its own presence among the people has also started schools and health care centres as part of the mission.
While promoting the health of a human being, one has to be conscious about the Culture of Death as opposed for the Cutler of Life. There are several issues in the field of Bio-ethics and genetics on the pretext of experimentation, harm the health of humans than promotes and safeguards it.
When Christians try humanizing medicine and caring the sick by showing personal concern and closeness to the suffering, they become for everyone a powerful image of Jesus himself, the healer of bodies and souls. Health cannot be defined from a mere study of the body; we must consider the whole person in his human vocation and final destiny.
In the Udupi diocese with the help of the Health commission, awareness has been created in availing the government facilities of health care sectors. The Diocese is working in providing health cards of KMC Manipal as well as Yashashvini and other government health cards to the people. In 2016-17 out 15000 people 13000 were enrolled for KMC health cards and have availed a benefit of Rs 3.8 crore, he added.
Fr Santhosh Dais Regional Secretary Commission for Health said that the growing commercialization and tendency to exploit in the midst of sickness and suffering coupled with the dwindling external resources, compels us today to work together, It is an opportunity to everyone who is ready to give, not just emotionally and spontaneously but also thoughtfully, to the mission of reaching the unreached through the healing ministry of the Church.
Many of the Christians Health care centres, charitable Hospitals especially in rural areas, do not have adequate doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. Financial constraints prevent our hospitals from maintaining and upgrading this infrastructure and investing in appropriate technology as per the need of the time. Christian hospitals are not in a position to compete with for-profit corporate hospitals which are gradually spreading their roots from big cities to smaller towns.
The other hand, after Government of India, the Catholic health association of India (CHAI) is the largest health care network reaching about 21 million people in a year through its vast network of more than 3500 member institutions with about 50000 beds. CHAI network also has over 30000 full-time voluntary work force – health care and social work professionals’ from various religious congregations and dioceses. In addition to this, we also have substantial assets in the form of land and infrastructure. The reputation, the good will, the access among the local people could also be considered as valuable resources.
Managing data, quantities and qualitative, can also help us in Advocacy – influence policies as well as tapping resources for the sake of the vulnerable and the unreached. There are several inspiring stories that could be unearthed, which can become a valuable resource to get more professionals and volunteers to collaborate with this noble mission. It is also important for us to Identify and Synergies the services of the skilled and experienced lay people with good will, for the sake of a larger impact, he added.
Fr. Lurduswamy Secretary Karnataka Regional Pastoral Plan implementation committee, Fr. Richard Coelho Director Father Muller’s Charitable Institutions Mangaluru, Msgr Baptist Menezes Vicar General of Udupi Diocese also spoke on the occasion.
Fr Valerian Mendonca, Chancellor Udupi Diocese, Alphnose D’Costa Secretary Diocese Pastoral Council, Fr Dr Lawrence D’Souza Director CESU, Dolphy D’Souza Diocese Pastoral Council lay representative were also present.
Sr Leena, UFS Health commission coordinator delivered the vote of thanks. Fr. Denis D’Sa Director Health Commission compered the programme.
After the stage programme sessions were conducted. Fr Mathew Perumpil Secretary for Health CBCI Spoke on National Health Policy 2017 while Fr Lawrence D’Souza of CESU spoke on CBCI Policy on Health. Fr Santhosh Dais Regional Secretary Commission for Health presented the regional presentation of Health commission. Bishop of Udupi presented the origin and implementation of the Pastoral Plan 2015. More than 75 representatives of the Health commission of Udupi Diocese including priests, nuns and lay people attended the seminar.