Health Care Interpreter Service

Health Care Interpreter Service (HCIS)

Patient or Client Refusal

Patient/Client Refusing the Services of an Interpreter

If a patient/client declines the offer of an interpreter AND the health care provider is unsure in any way about what is being communicated, then the health care provider has both a right and an obligation to organise the interpreter. Patient/client should be explained that it is the NSW Health policy to use professional interpreters. Reassure the patient/client that the interpreter will keep everything confidential, and insist that the interpreter be there at least for the first session. If it becomes apparent at the first session that the interpreter is not needed, you may not need to book them for further sessions.

If a professional interpreter is not used because the patient/client has refused to use one, record these details in the patient/client’s medical record, with details of the discussions that have taken place about the use of an interpreter and inform the patient/client that this is being done.