MEXICO CITY — The Archdiocese of Mexico City has announced that anyone needing medical care can go to the Catholic Church’s clinics and hospitals even if they are unable to pay, following the Sept. 19 7.1-magnitude earthquake devastated Mexico City and surrounding areas, killing more than 300 and leaving thousands homeless.
Health care law in Mexico requires that medical services are provided on a sliding scale, considering the ability of patients to pay. In light of the current situation, the archdiocese has announced that it will provide medical services “even if you can’t pay on the sliding scale.”
To help defray their costs, donations of any kind are also being requested, especially “bandages, toiletries, antiseptics, gauze or medications in good condition, not used or expired.”
Father Pedro Velasquez, director of the Pastoral Commission on Health Care for the Archdiocese of Mexico, noted that this service is being provided thanks to volunteers from Catholic universities, especially from Anahuac University’s north and south campuses.
Cardinal Rivera also shared his appreciation for all the youthful volunteers during a recent homily at the Guadalupe Basilica: “What a moving lesson it has been to see so many young people, day and night, helping those affected, distributing food supplies, removing rubble, going up and down the streets anxiously looking for someone to help! Just for the joy of seeing someone being reborn out of the rubble!”
Father Velasquez described the first moments after the quake struck. “Initially, people cut with flying glass came in, or with various kinds of trauma; we’ve treated fractures, bruises — those are the things we normally treat when there’s an emergency,” the priest said.
“We also give medications to people with chronic problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, or even a nervous breakdown,” he added.
Finally, Father Velasquez encouraged Mexicans to keep their faith and to see that, despite the suffering brought by the quake, “natural catastrophes are an opportunity God gives us to show our support for one another and to use our personal talents to serve others.”
This article was originally published by CNA’s sister agency ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.