ASIA/INDIA - A thousand sister doctors are dedicated to health care for the most disadvantaged

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 healthcare   development   society   civil society   mission   nuns   consecrated life  


Bombay (Agenzia Fides) - More than a thousand sister doctors in India silently contribute to the health care of the poorest and most marginalized. As Agenzia Fides learns, the "Sister Doctors Forum of India" (SDFI) is a group of about a thousand religious women who are also specialized in the medical profession, with highly qualified studies. The sisters belong to 104 religious congregations, which are dedicated to serving Indian people, with compassion. "They deal with the health care needs of people in remote and rural areas where medical technology and modern facilities are not yet available", explained Sister Beena of the Ursulines of Mary Immaculate, a gynecologist in Mumbai, president of SDFI, to Agenzia Fides
The nun explains the commitment of the sister-doctors: "They are dedicated to people in remote areas. They provide preventive, curative and even palliative assistance service in the most disadvantaged areas of our great nation. They follow Jesus’ footsteps with a great passion for God and compassion for humanity".
Today, health care in India is going through a difficult historical context: "Health services have become a business. The commitment, ethics and dedication of doctors are constantly being challenged by increasing consumption, by healthcare practices motivated by profit. The compassionate model of care and the mission of Christian health care, which intends to bring healing and salvation, becomes increasingly difficult".
In this context, the nuns have a dual responsibility: on the one hand, the commitment to the Christian vocation as consecrated persons; on the other hand, the service as highly qualified professionals, giving testimony to the authentic vocation of the medical profession.
In recent decades, the nuns, through their efforts, have contributed to reducing the rate of maternal and child mortality. Most of them are specialized in gynecology, pediatrics, surgery. Devoting themselves in particular to the poor and the oppressed, the nuns face difficulties every day, such as the lack of qualified personnel, poor infrastructure, unequipped centers.
SDFI was founded on June 5, 1993 during the celebration of the Golden Jubilee and the National Convention of the "Catholic Health Association of India" (CHAI) in Kerala. In the span of 25 years, it has moved from a small association to a forum of about 1000 nuns. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 10/4/2018)