Vulnerable patients at a loss as to how they can communicate with their doctors.

What a sad story below and just the thing that we wanted to ensure doesn’t happen in the UK. In Australia interpreting services have been slashed leaving vulnerable people at a loss as to how they can speak with doctors. Many are just stuck for words whilst others are luckier if a member of their family can act as the interpreter.  Luckily in the UK this should not be a reality as we have Clairetalk the system that allows doctors and their patients to communicate with each other in real time without the need of an interpreter in the room.

Emina Suleiman, 81, said without a Turkish translator she could not communicate with hospital doctors.

“Because when I go to hospital, the doctor tell me something I not understand,” Mrs Suleiman said.

“Maybe now I not go. Nobody can help me there.”

I think this is everyone worst nightmare especially when thinking of older relatives. It is difficult for both sides, with the patients not being understood and the doctors doing their best but struggling.  I for one dont think this is acceptable when there are alternative cheap options available to make both peoples lives easier. Communication should not be a barrier but a tool to support both sides of the discussion.

To find out more go to www.emasuk.com and then choose the healthcare button.

To read the story here is the link http://whittlesea-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/translation-lost-in-cuts/

And the story:

THERE are mounting concerns that language services at The Northern Hospital have been slashed.

Northern Health chief executive Greg Pullen confirmed patients were now being screened to ensure interpreting services were necessary, but said the service would be maintained.

The State Opposition and the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia say there are already less casual and sessional translators across five Northern Health campuses.

Mr Pullen said full-time and part-time jobs would not be cut, but he did not say if casual translators or those on contracts would be affected.

Thomastown state Labor MP Bronwyn Halfpenny said direct pressure from the State Government to cut costs led to the service overhaul.

Ms Halfpenny said elderly migrants living in culturally diverse areas, such as Thomastown, would be the worst-affected.

“They rely heavily on interpreters to communicate effectively with their doctors,” Ms Halfpenny said.

“It is outrageous that people are being forced to rely on family members to translate for them in sensitive matters.”

Emina Suleiman, 81, said without a Turkish translator she could not communicate with hospital doctors.

“Because when I go to hospital, the doctor tell me something I not understand,” Mrs Suleiman said.

“Maybe now I not go. Nobody can help me there.”

Mrs Suleiman said she preferred not to burden her son, who already drove her to hospital, with translating duties.

Health Minister David Davis did not respond to the Leader’s questions.

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