In the introduction to Part Two of the fourth edition of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services developed by the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops remind us:
The dignity of human life flows from creation in the image of God (Gn 1:26), from redemption by Jesus Christ (Eph 1:10; 1 Tm 2:4-6), and from our common destiny to share a life with God beyond all corruption (1 Cor 15:42-57). Catholic health care has the responsibility to treat those in need in a way that respects the human dignity and eternal destiny of all. The words of Christ have provided inspiration for Catholic health care: "I was ill and you cared for me" (Mt 25:36). The care provided assists those in need to experience their own dignity and value, especially when these are obscured by the burdens of illness or the anxiety of imminent death.
By 2014 many, and possibly most, of the provisions made by the Health Care Reform of 2009/2010 will be in effect. Experts in the actuarial field suggest an estimated 32 million people who did not have health insurance will be insured potentially seeking health care for health issues that they previously ignored. Simultaneously, the American “Baby-Boomers” generation is beginning to require more health care, which presents a significant growth in the number of health care consumers. Are there enough health care providers and facilities available to meet this burgeoning demand?
By separating out one small category, that of physicians, it becomes obvious that there is much more work Americans have to do to be ready for the legislation our Congress has worked hard to enact. By 2025 the Association of American Medical Colleges projects a need for 150,000 additional physicians to meet the demand for health care. Carrying this imbalance between supply and demand all across the health care professions leads to one dramatic question: Who is going to take care of the sick?
The Columbus Catholic Connection: Are you looking to work for a Catholic health care provider, or do you wish to be cared for by a Catholic health care provider? Consider the Mt. Carmel Trinity Healthcare System. Including three major hospitals, an orthopedic hospital and many imaging centers and clinics, Mt. Carmel will be able to help you meet your healthcare needs.