Working in the medical and caring professions is hard work. Helping people to deal with distressing problems, and caring for people at the most difficult and traumatic moments in their lives has never been easy.
Currently health workers of all kinds face even more pressure: coping with cuts in services as funding for the National Health Service (NHS) becomes tighter; dealing with uncertainty in the face of legislative changes to the NHS; managing with pay freezes and changes to pension arrangements.
In the UK the NHS employs more than 1.5m people. The number of patients using it is equally mind-boggling.
On average, the NHS deals with one million patients every 36 hours - that’s 463 people a minute or almost 8 a second. Each GP in the nation’s 10,000-plus practices sees an average of 140 patients a week.
Many more people pass through our hospitals and GP surgeries than through our churches, and Christian doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers play a key role as Christ's hands and feet at the sharp end of society with the opportunity to touch people's lives at what can be their greatest time of need.
They also face big ethical and moral pressures in a workplace which is often hostile to Christian faith and values. As ordinary Christian disciples facing these challenges and with their own personal, spiritual and emotional needs, they need our prayer and encouragement.
There are estimated to be 100,000 Christians employed by the NHS.
Healthcare Sunday is a chance for churches to express their support for health workers in their congregations and the wider local community, to acknowledge the vital role that they play, and to support and pray for them in the midst of all these pressures.
The caring work they do is very close to God’s heart and Jesus always had special concern for the vulnerable and needy.
Short video presentation on Healthcare Sunday being shown in churches and small groups.
Resources available from CMF, including a prayer, and other videos.