Pope Francis praised the work of nurses around the world on Tuesday, saying the coronavirus crisis had shown how vital their service is, as he appealed to governments to invest more in health care.
"Every day we witness the testimony of courage and sacrifice of health care workers, and nurses in particular, who, with professionalism, self-sacrifice, and a sense of responsibility and love for neighbor, assist people affected by the virus, even to the point of putting their own health at risk," Francis said in a special message for International Nurses Day.
He said the pandemic had helped the world rediscover the fundamental role of nurses in health care, adding that they deserve to be more fully valued and their working conditions improved.
The pandemic had also brought to light health care deficiencies in some countries, he said.
"For this reason, I would ask leaders of nations throughout the world to invest in health care as the primary common good, by strengthening its systems and employing greater numbers of nurses, so as to ensure adequate care to everyone, with respect for the dignity of each person," he said.