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Queensland Health Interpreter Service - what to expect

Queensland Health Interpreter Service

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What you can expect when you come to a Queensland Health service

When you access a Queensland Health service, you will be asked a number of questions, including your country of birth, the language that you speak at home or the language that you prefer to use, and if you require an interpreter.

 It is important that you answer these questions as accurately as possible. This is because Queensland Health uses this information to plan its services, including interpreter services. 

It is also important that you indicate you need an interpreter if you do not speak English well.  This is because conversations about health care can be complex, involving unfamiliar medical terms.  You may also be anxious or stressed and this can impact on your ability to understand English (your second language) and to communicate accurately with the health care professional.  It is important that you are able to communicate accurately, otherwise the health care professional does not have all the right information on which to make their health care decisions about your care.

If you require an interpreter , you will be asked for information about:

  • the language you speak
  • if you prefer a male or female interpreter or have no preference
  • if you have any cultural requirements for the interpreter (eg. dialect, religion)

These questions assist health staff in providing you with the interpreter that best suits your needs.  

While Queensland Health will work towards meeting your interpreter preferences, there will be occasions where this will not be possible.  In these situations, we will provide you with the best available NAATI accredited or recognised interpreter. 


Last updated: 23 February 2009