More than 50 percent of hospital patients were born outside Australia. Recent hospital records show that patients presenting at the hospital speak more than 80 languages other than English.

The Transcultural & Interpreter Service provides highly qualified professional interpreting services, including AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language), to help patients communicate with staff during their visit to the hospital.

Our in house team of interpreters speak 7 languages including Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Greek, Italian, Turkish and Vietnamese and are an essential component of providing high quality and safe care to our patients. Agency staff and telephone interpreting are used to service remaining languages.

Interpreters enable effective communication between patients and staff allowing for improved clinical consultation, patient participation and patient outcomes.

Interpreters assist patients and staff particularly:

  • when patients are required to make significant decisions concerning their lives
  • where essential information needs to be communicated to inform decision making (eg consequences of procedures, informed consent).
  • when patients prefer to speak a language other than English

The most common types of interpreting include:

  • face to face
  • telephone interpreter services
  • translations
  • sight translations
  • video conferencing
  • AUSLAN (sign language)

Patients should advise the hospital when making their appointment or on admission that they need an interpreter. It is also important that patients advise the hospital in advance if an appointment needs to be cancelled or rebooked.

Bookings are only accepted through hospital staff and cannot be made directly by patients. If an urgent or same-day booking is required, this can be done via hospital staff.

If an interpreter is unavailable or not pre booked to assist at the patient's appointment, hospital staff are able to contact a telephone interpreter service 24 hours a day (including after hours, week-ends and public holidays) to help patients communicate with staff.

Special referral instructions

All bookings are made through hospital staff.