VATICAN CITY -- Global solidarity is needed so that every country can guarantee all of its citizens have access to health care, a Vatican official told the annual assembly of the World Health Organization.
Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, told the World Health Assembly that nations appear "stalled in the status quo where the rich people have higher levels of coverage, while most of the poor people miss out, and (even) those who do have access often incur high, sometimes catastrophic costs in paying for services and medicine."
The archbishop's speech to the assembly in Geneva was released May 18 at the Vatican.
Under Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, he said, the Catholic Church has called for "universal access to medical care."
"Despite the progress made in some countries, on the whole, we are still a long way from universal coverage," the archbishop said.