Many of the women we care for at the Women's speak little or no English.
The Women's is committed to helping you communicate with our staff so that you can make your own decisions about your healthcare. An interpreter makes sure that your diagnosis and treatment are explained in your preferred language so that you can ask questions and understand the information you are given.
The Women’s provides experienced interpreters for every hospital clinic and service. We provide assistance with more than 100 community languages. We also provide services for women requiring AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language). Our interpreters understand the importance of interpreting accurately and impartially and keeping all information confidential.
Interpreters are available to all patients at the Women’s.
What we do
The Women’s provides interpreter services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To make sure we meet the needs of as many patients as possible, we:
- have qualified interpreters on our staff for the most frequently spoken languages in our community (Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek and Spanish)
- use experienced interpreters from accredited external agencies to provide face to face assistance
- use Auslan interpreters from external agencies but bookings must be made preferably seven days prior to appointment
- use a telephone interpreter service for assistance after hours, and on weekend and public holidays.
Our interpreters specialise in women's health terminology and are familiar with women's health issues and medical treatments.
Information for patients
Family, friends, carers and husbands
Family, friends, carers and husbands are not allowed to be interpreters at appointments.
Please bring your husband, partner, relatives or friends for support at your appointments. However a trained interpreter must be used to ensure that you understand the information, procedures or surgery that are discussed with you. You will be able to ask the health professional questions about your care with the help of the interpreter.
If you have a Medicare Card, the use of the interpreter is free. If you do not have a Medicare card, the interpreter fee will be included in the cost of your appointment at the Women’s.
Booking an interpreter
If you want to make sure that an interpreter will be at your first appointment, you can ring us a few days before your appointment and we will check if an interpreter has been booked. If an interpreter has not been booked for you already, we can organise one for you.
You can also request an interpreter if you make an appointment at the hospital yourself.
Cancelling an interpreter
If you are unable to attend your appointment at a clinic, or need to change the time, please contact the clinic as soon as possible so that another appointment can be made for you. Please tell the clinic that an interpreter had been booked for you and they will cancel the booking for the interpreter.
If an interpreter is not available
Whenever an interpreter is not available in the State of Victoria we are able to check in other states of Australia and in a couple of occasions we were able to connect with a telephone interpreter by linking with an overseas Government Department.
Your doctor/GP should inform the Women’s that you will need an interpreter for your first visit.