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Pope: Governments must ensure all have access to health care

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called on governments Friday to ensure everyone has access to suitable health care.

In an annual papal message reflecting on the needs of ill people, Francis urged health care institutions and government leaders “not to neglect social justice out of preoccupation for financial concerns.”

The pope lamented in his written statement that many in the world have no access to health care because they live in poverty. He advocated solidarity to make sure all receive the medical care they need to stay healthy and to recover from illnesses.

Francis also described it as tragic that medical personnel and facilities have been attacked during wars and violent conflicts. He further decried that “political authorities attempt to manipulate medical care for their own advantage” in some places, but did not cite specific situations.