Catholic Healthcare Council of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference
This Council comes under the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care
Ms. Danielle Browne, Secretary
Catholic Healthcare Commission
PO Box 10858
Tel: +353 (0)1 278 2693
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Membership of the Catholic Healthcare Commission is made up of:
- four representatives appointed by the Irish Bishops’ Conference, at least one of whom should be a member of the Irish Bishops’ Conference (IBC)
- three representatives appointed by the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI)
- the Director General of CORI is an ex-officio member
- one representative of the National Association of Hospital Chaplains (NAHC), appointed by the Irish Bishops’ Conference
Episcopal Members, who form the Council for Healthcare of the Irish Episcopal Conference:
Bishop John Buckley (Chair)
Bishop Raymond Field
In 1987 the Episcopal Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI), [formerly the Conference of Major Religious Superiors (CMRS)], recognised the need for closer liaison between both Conferences in regard to healthcare. To facilitate this, it was decided that a formal structure was needed and this was best met by the formation of the Joint Healthcare Commission.
The Commission was formed to promote the interests of the Irish Bishops’ Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland in matters of healthcare and its services.
At a meeting of the Joint Healthcare Commission on 29 February 2000 it was agreed by common consent that the name would be changed to ‘The Catholic Healthcare Commission’.
The purpose of the Catholic Healthcare Commission (CHC) is to represent the Catholic understanding of the ministry of healthcare as an essential component of the healing Mission of Jesus Christ.
The CHC works to respect life and to promote healthcare for all in a spirit of Christian love and compassion, respecting the dignity and rights of every person.
Definition of Healthcare:
Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO).
Healthcare is defined as the care of those who are in general or specialised hospitals and related ancillary facilities, hospice care, nursing homes, community residential care units for the elderly, centres for persons with intellectual and/or physical disability and those in receipt of care in their homes or other centres committed to healthcare.
Objectives of the Catholic Healthcare Commission
- To respect the sacredness of all human life by addressing the healthcare needs of all in our society.
- To promote the dignity of people in need of healthcare by insisting on equality of care and personal privacy for all
- To promote the rights of all in accessing care by encouraging timely access to appropriate care and personal choice in consent to treatment.
- To promote a just society which will have particular concern for the poor and marginalised by raising awareness of needs and linking in with those who take on an advocacy role in seeking appropriate healthcare services.
- To promote ethical guidelines of Catholic Church teaching in healthcare service by liasing with specialists in this field.
- To promote communication and collaboration among Catholic healthcare organisations and other groups integral to the Church’s healing ministry by bringing interest groups together to deepen understanding and collaboration.
- To promote and support the ministry of Catholic Healthcare Chaplains by appointing a Healthcare Chaplaincy Board (HCB).
- To promote and maintain greater cohesion in Catholic Healthcare Chaplaincy by maintaining cooperative links with the National Association of Hospital Chaplains (NAHC), Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Ireland (ACPE) (I) and other such bodies.
- To promote and support Catholic Healthcare by establishing a close relationship with designated liaison persons within relevant statutory bodies.