Interpreter services

Do you need help understanding information your doctor or nurse gives you?

If you speak a language other than English or if you are hearing impaired, we are able to provide you with an interpreter free of charge.

The service is provided by confidential, professional interpreters who can assist you with communication.

We can arrange interpreters if:

  • you are a patient in our Hospital
  • you come to hospital for an appointment
  • a community health worker visits you at home

We can organise:

  • face-to-face interpreters. This means the interpreter is in the room with you and the doctor, nurse or other staff member
  • telephone interpreters. This means the interpreter is on the telephone while you are with the doctor, nurse or other staff member

You can also use the telephone interpreter to call us at by:

  • calling the Translating Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450
  • telling the operator what language you speak
  • asking the operator to set up a telephone conversation between you, an interpreter, and the hospital.
  • giving the operator the phone number for the hospital switchboard, clinic or hospital ward.

A local call charge will apply but there is no cost for the telephone interpreter.

Patients and families do not have to pay for interpreters. St Vincent’s will organise and pay for interpreters for you.

You don’t have to use an interpreter. Remember that an interpreter will help you and the staff member understand each other, get accurate information and ask questions. Our interpreters are compliant with our patient confidentiality policy.

Relatives and friends cannot act as an interpreter on your behalf.

In 2012-2013 we had patients from over 160 countries of birth, and speaking over 75 languages.

Patients can call the hospital through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS)