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Interpreter Services in Queensland Health - information for staff

Information for staff

Queensland Health clients who are not proficient in English will be provided with an interpreter at no charge.

The Queensland Language Services Policy outlines the Queensland Government's commitment to  use interpreters and translated information to improve access to the full range of government and government-funded services for people with difficulty communicating in English.

The Queensland Health Working with Interpreter Guidelines state that a professional interpreter should be engaged when the information to be communicated to the patient is significant for health and/or health outcomes and the person’s English skills are assessed to be inadequate to properly understand the situation or the instructions they are being given, the person has a Queensland Government interpreter card, or if the person requests an interpreter.

Professional interpreters should be engaged through the Hospital and Health Interpreter Service Coordinator or your using your local procedures.

Interpreter services in Queensland Health

A Standing Offer Arrangement has been established for the provision of interpreting and translation services. This is a statewide whole-of-government arrangement available to all Queensland Government agencies and other eligible Queensland Government-funded service providers.

In accordance with principle 5.3 of the Queensland Procurement Policy (PDF, 480KB), common-use supply arrangements are mandated for use to achieve savings and benefits wherever practical. For more information, contact HSQLanguageservices@health.qld.gov.au.

The benefits of this arrangement for Queensland Government customers include:

  • alignment with the Queensland Language Services Policy (PDF, 1.3MB)
  • suppliers fully understand the requirements and are prepared to invest to build a solid relationship to improve and sustain excellence in service
  • simplified engagement process
  • practitioners are paid in line with their level of accreditation and certification
  • consistent standards and services are available across the whole-of-Queensland
  • comprehensive, timely, accurate supplier performance management and standardised reporting
  • value for money.
Service providers on the Standing Offer Arrangement include:

Translating and interpreting service providers

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages interpreting

Further information and resources on the Standing Offer Arrangement can be found on the Queensland Contracts Directory website.

If you have any queries about the Standing Offer Arrangement, please contact Craig Pyke at 07 3096 2270 or HSQLanguageservices@health.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 30 January 2019

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National Interpreter Symbol

The blue interpreter symbol is the nationally recognised interpreter symbol.

national interpreter symbol

Click here for more information about this symbol.


Complaints about health or other services

Do you have concerns about a government or non-government health service or are you unhappy with the way an issue has been handled? Do you think you have been treated unfairly or are you concerned about a decision or action of a health professional?

It is ok to complain, and there are organisations that are independent of the government that can help you, free of charge.

Go to the Queensland Independent Complaint Agencies' website for more information.