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Should US hospitals provide a free translator to non-English speaking patients?

In an article, a famous US writer published that almost one-third of American hospitals are failed to provide a free translator for patients with low English proficiency. That is why, in this segment, we are going to analyze that either US hospital should provide a free translator or not?

Why is it essential to have a translator?

Let us first discuss why it is essential to have a translator or bilingual staff in a hospital?

  1. In a hospital, bilingual staff or a translator is essential as research has shown that people who do not understand clear English and lack a deep understanding of the doctor’s language are at higher risk of spending their treatment time for a long duration. These people do not recover fast because not having a clear understanding, lack of knowledge, misinterpretation, and misconception can lead them not to have a satisfying treatment. And suppose people are not able to understand that from what they have been diagnosed. In that case, they will be unable to follow medical regimens and treatment plans with effort and regularity.
  2. Another important thing is that when there is a lack of communication between doctor and patient, then it is obvious the patient will not get empathy, emotional understanding and mental satisfaction from that doctor. Research has proven that when a patient links emotionally and mentally to his doctor, he performs better at taking medicines correctly. His physical power to fight the disease also gets power because he is empowered with self will power.

Now, you can know how much a translator is essential in getting the better health of non-English speaking patients in US hospitals.

American hospital’s areas with no facility of bilingual staff:

In the US, private hospitals are more likely to provide a translator as compared to public hospitals. There was a census study done in 2013  by the American hospital association. They revealed that only 4514 hospitals in the US could provide these services of bilingual staff. In Central Tennessee, Nashville, Central Nebraska, there is no availability of these services. However, in  New York, New Jersey, Florida’s regions, there is the irregularity of providing free translator to non-English patients like some hospitals are providing these services, and some are not giving these services.

Americans with disabilities act (ADA):

According to the Americans with disabilities act, if a patient cannot interpret his/her doctor’s language, then the doctor is bound to provide that patient with a translator.

Our opinion:

There is no doubt in the importance of a translator for a patient if he/she is unable to understand the doctor. So, there should be a free translator for a non-English speaking patient in a hospital as if someone has cancer. He might be unable to pay the translator’s fee on his own, so hospitals should provide that person with a translator or an interpreter. It is essential for the betterment of their physical and emotional health.

 

References:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-translators-idUSKCN10M29M

http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/childrens-health/cms-plan/for-health-care-providers/_documents/ada-questions.pdf