Mario J. Paredes: “The Pope advocates humanizing the health system, both public and private”

In an exclusive interview, Mario J. Paredes, executive president of SOMOS Community Care, reflected on health promotion from a Christian perspective, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the goal of Health and Well-being. Mario J. Paredes highlighted the importance of humanizing health systems, both public and private, following the teachings of Pope Francis.

Mario J. Paredes, who was advisor for Latin America to President Ronald Reagan and consultant for the Vatican’s Latin American Commission and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been decorated by the Government of Chile with the Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit, and He holds a Doctor in Liberal Arts from the Catholic University of America. Currently, he directs SOMOS Community Care, a network of more than 2,500 primary care professionals serving Medicaid patients in New York City.

The next big event organized by the International Academy of Catholic Leaders is the IX International Diploma, which will take place from July 19 to 28 at Saint John’s University in New York. This event will include the study and analysis of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on the promotion of comprehensive human development and a special emphasis on the care of the poorest, with the participation of prominent exhibitors.

Humanizing the Health system: a call from Pope Francis

Mario J. Paredes shared Pope Francis’ reflections on the need to humanize both the public and private health systems. According to Mario J. Paredes, the Pope follows the teachings of Jesus, who came to heal and teach a model of healing. The Holy Father suggests that those responsible for health must be aware of the possibility of helping patients achieve the fullness of life.

“The Pope advocates not perpetuating a system that confronts or questions the disease. He seeks, by all means, to teach those responsible for health to be aware that they can help by proposing the fullness of life. The Gospel says that God has sent us the Son to have full life, and that is what the Church has done for centuries through its hospital, health and medical care works,” explained Mario J. Paredes.

Measures for a fairer health system

Mario J. Paredes also commented on Pope Francis’ recommendations to achieve a fairer health system, especially regarding the cost of medicines. Although the Pope is not a scholar on economic issues, he does emphasize the need for pharmaceutical conglomerates to have a social conscience.

“Medicines are for profit, and large pharmaceutical conglomerates should be socially aware that medicine in general is exorbitantly expensive. The phenomenon of prescribing medicine is so impersonal that it does little to help the person heal,” he stated.

A space for meeting and hope

The IX International Diploma of the Academy of Catholic Leaders offers a space for meeting, learning and reflection, where leaders from various areas and backgrounds will come together with the aim of finding solutions to the most urgent challenges of our time, guided by a common vision of justice, solidarity and hope.

For those who wish to participate or learn more about this event, you can obtain details and register on the official website of the diploma course.