Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, an Australian community, in a worldwide religious congregation.
Jesus loved with a human heart: with him we proclaim his love to the world.
We work to discover through advocacy, healing and reconciliation, God's presence in our world.
We are to be on earth the heart of God. God has no other heart but ours.
- Published: Wednesday, 18 August 2010 19:06
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
On Tuesday 17th August an historic Memorandum of Understanding between the NSW Department of Health and the Civil Chaplaincies Advisory Committee was signed in North Sydney.
Roy O'Neill and Ian Duncan, Chair of Civil Chaplaincies
signing the Memorandum of Understanding.
Roy O'Neill MSC has been a member of CCAC and its Subcommittee on Health for over seven years, serving as Deputy Chair of both during that time, until his resignation from hospital chaplaincy at Easter time this year. He was largely responsible for writing the Memorandum of Understanding. Along with Rev Graham McKay, one of the Assistant Directors of Anglicare, he has been involved in negotiations over the past seven years with the Department of Health.
With the Memorandum of Understanding, the Department of Health recognizes that patients, their families and staff in public hospitals and healthcare institutions have a basic right to spiritual care and to access Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Services. It also provides a legal foundation for the provision of the subsidies paid by the State Government to religious organizations for the provision of chaplaincy services in designated facilities. It establishes the protocols for the provision of adequate facilities and resources within the hospital for Chaplaincy Services, including a chapel/religious space.
More importantly, the status of accredited chaplains is recognized as professional members of the health care team within a hospital, and allows participation on Ward meetings, family conferences, and other committees where a patient's health details may be discussed. Significantly, accredited chaplains are now able to document the provision of spiritual care in a patient's health care record when the chaplain has been directly involved in providing spiritual or pastoral care for the patient or their family.
While some people today may no longer acknowledge the various traditional rites of religious practices, they have not rejected the need to find some way of entering through the doors to the sacred and striving to touch the holy. This spiritual searching is found in the larger cultural context of contemporary society, and it needs special and significant attention in those sectors of society that provide health care.