Pope Francis encouraged cooperatives “to become active as leaders in creating new welfare solutions, particularly in the field of health care”. In a meeting with seven thousand Italian cooperators, he made several suggestions for co-operative action, to build “a true economy supported by people who have only the common good in their heart and mind”.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio emphasized the role of health co-operatives and encouraged to “think of health needs, which traditional welfare systems no longer manage to satisfy”. In his address, he suggested that co-operatives should be agents of the new solutions in health care sector, “a delicate field where so many poor people do not find adequate responses to their needs”. “I know what you have been doing for years with heart and with passion, in the peripheries of the cities and of our society, for families, children, the elderly, the sick and people disadvantaged and in difficulty for various reasons, bring heart and aid into their homes” said Bergoglio and suggested the creation of an effective network of assistance and solidarity between co-operatives, parishes and hospitals.
Pope Francis also recognized that “cooperatives already offer so many services and so many organizational formulae, akin to national health services, to meet the needs of everyone”.