"Compassionate health care in the service of Christ"
Welcome to the CATHCA Website!
Who we are:
CATHCA is the Catholic Health Care Association of Southern Africa. Some of us are doctors, some nurses, some community health workers, or other health professionals, and many of us are lay people doing voluntary work as home based caregivers, administrators, bookkeepers, or looking after orphans or the elderly in homes and care centres across the country.
Where we are:
We work around the country in all nine Provinces of South Africa, and in Botswana and Swaziland, in 38 clinics, two hospitals, many old age homes, hospices, orphanages and many Diocesan and parish projects combating HIV/AIDS. See the button marked "Members" to the left.
of the KZN regional conference, an important workshop on the future of
Catholic health care in South Africa and progress being made on the regional
secretariat of the Catholic regional health network, and guidance on making
final regional conference of the year was held at Glenmore Pastoral Centre in
Durban from June 7th to 9th, attended by 25 delegates,
excluding CATHCA staff, representing nine organisations. Catholic clinics in
Kwa-Zulu Natal are currently under extreme financial pressure so it was good
to have an opportunity to hear about their situation.
regional secretariat for the Catholic regional health network is currently
being hosted by CATHCA, in its first year. Teresa Whitaker as regional manager
and Maureen Newbery as admin assistant are tasked with taking it forward, and
to date have compiled and circulated an MOU for each country in the network to
sign, and have been busy collecting and collating information from the
Catholic health care bodies in the various countries of the network. Part of
their task is to establish a database on the work each national body is doing.
Funding has been received for the establishment and running of the secretariat
for the first year, and for the Pastoral Care programme that is its first
a meeting of the KZN Catholic regional health care network it was agreed ,in
light of the funding crisis at several of our Catholic health facilities
due to the withdrawal of government funding, that it had become critical to
hold a strategic workshop on Catholic health care in South Africa. It was felt
that we were at a crossroads in Catholic health care, very similar to that
where we gave up our Catholic hospitals in the '70s.
guidelines now recommend that HAART be initiated for all people living with
HIV who have CD4 cell counts of 500 cells per μL or below, all
HIV-infected children younger than 5 years, and all individuals with
concomitant hepatitis B, chronic liver disease, and active tuberculosis,
irrespective of CD4 cell count. However,
the guidelines note that individuals with CD4 cell counts below 350 cells per
μL should be given priority for treatment. WHO's guidelines also endorse
Option B+, which entails that all women found to be infected with HIV during
pregnancy should be offered HAART and, for those who start treatment, continue
on it for the rest of their lives.
social and economic implications of the revised guidelines are substantial.
There are currently close to 10 million HIV-infected people receiving HAART,
almost 90% of whom live in Africa.3 WHO's 2010 guidelines4 aimed for 16·7
million people with HIV to be on antiretroviral treatment, whereas in the 2013
guidelines the desired number is now 25·9 million people. This increase is
based on estimates that there are about 5·3 million adults and children
currently living with CD4 cell counts between 350 and 500 cells per μL
and 3·9 million HIV-infected pregnant women and serodiscordant couples, all
of whom would be candidates for treatment under the revised guidelines.2
good decision is one made in freedom. We do not make the end fit the
means. A good decision is always one that leads us to greater service
and praise of God – and that always presupposes a commitment to the
well-being of others. Love
maturely, pray honestly, then decide.
Francis and Catholic Health Care in the USA
PHILADELPHIA, May 17,
- Pope Francis has set the tone for his papacy and for the whole Church in the
years ahead with three concise points in his
homily on March 14, 2013: “Journeying, building,
would suggest there is a clear takeaway for institutions whose mission and
identity are bound up with Catholic Christian charity: Do not let worldly
concerns transform you into mere social assistance programs or utility-driven
“service providers.” It is an echo of Benedict XVI’s affirmation in Deus
Caritas Est, no. 31, which he repeated and emphasized in the
introduction to his motu proprio On
the Service of Charity: “The Church’s charitable activity
at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized
Catholic health care has journeyed greatly, both geographically and administratively, through and since its missionary origins in the early days of our country’s history. Much has changed in the way health care is delivered and in the way hospitals and caregivers are organized: medical professional associations, technological and scientific knowledge advancement, costs and payment, and governmental involvement have moved health care in novel directions with respect to that original response to the Catholic Christian calling to care for the sick and the poor. The circumstances and means have changed, but the core vocation of bringing both physical and spiritual healing and comfort must not be lost.
Catholic health care
has built extensively. There are 630 Catholic hospitals in the United
States with 641,000 full-time employees, which handle over 5,450,000 patient
admissions and 100,000,000 outpatient visits per year. Most
significantly, Catholic health care has built in the Church’s spirit of
charity: “Catholic hospitals often provide a higher percentage of public
health and specialty services than other health care providers. These
organizations’ dedication to the common good often leads them to offer these
traditionally ‘unprofitable’ services.”
Catholic health care
is part of building the Church: “We speak of . . . building the Church, the
Bride of Christ, on the cornerstone that is the Lord himself.”] We
should not stop building Catholic health care as times and circumstances
change, but we cannot build it properly without “living stones, anointed by
the Holy Spirit,” willing to ensure that its foundation is Christ.
Jesus Christ is crucified and we cannot profess him without the Cross. “When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly.” Catholic health care may journey far and build extensively, “but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong.” It is not hard to shift the focus from the fullness of the Christian message to those aspects which will fit with the demands of the world here and now. An organization need not be Catholic to be classified as a non-profit charitable organization. But the government’s definition of charity is not Christ crucified: “We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord.”
DiCamilo is a staff ethicist for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in
CATHCA produces a regular e-mail newsletter called e-NEWS,
with information about current CATHCA activities, new developments in the health
field, courses and conferences, and news about health legislation. If you
wish to subscribe, fill in your details and click on the button marked
Click on a button on the left for more information about CATHCA, its history, membership, addresses of clinics and other institutions, structure, parish nursing programme, staff members, work with HIV/AIDS, and medicines.
Contact details: CATHCA, P O Box 52015, Saxonwold, 2132
St. Vincent School for the Deaf, 158 Oxford Road, Melrose, Johannesburg
Telephone: +27 11 880 4022 Fax: +27 11 880 4084
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org