Guidelines for Providers

All people who need interpretation should be guaranteed this right through legislation with clear guidelines for enforcement and accountability.

The Federal Government recognizes the importance of interpretation in order to ensure the principle of access as defined in the Canada Health Act and explore ways to ensure this principle is upheld by provincial governments.

Service Providers, interpreter groups, language sector organizations, and the bodies that regulate health care professionals should collaborate efforts to advocate that the Provincial Government designate appropriate funding to those responsible for the delivery of health care and community services to be used specifically for interpretation services for immigrants and refugees who have a limited proficiency in either official language, deaf people, First Nations people, and French speakers (where French language services are not available).

The funds provided by the Ministry of Health to health care organizations should be related to the size of the organization and the diversity of the community served by the organization.

Hospitals and organizations providing direct services should set aside specific budgets for interpretation programs. Sequentially, organizations should advocate for government legislations that regulates and provides subsidization for interpreter services.

Members of the HIN define the role of  the interpreter as: “A person who facilitates spoken language communication between two or more parties who do not share a common language by delivering, as faithfully as possible, the original message from source into target language.” (National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services)

There has to be common standards for health care interpreters across Ontario to ensure that the public will receive interpretation services of a consistent quality in the health care system.

Standards should be monitored through a common test or tool. Any tools should test to ensure the following:

* Language proficiency in both languages being used in interpretation;

* Knowledge of health care terminology;

* Knowledge and adherence to the Code of Conduct for interpreters.

The HIN pursues funds to further review and adapt existing tools so they can be adopted as the screening mechanism for interpreters used by all HIN members.

The HIN works together with the Ministry of Education and Training in the development and implementation of interpreter’s training.

All interpreters in the health care setting should be appropriately trained and possess the necessary certifications.

Health care and service based organizations should seek to work with interpreters whose skills have been assessed and who have been trained based on the above described standards for interpreters.

Furthermore, health care and community professionals directly implementing services to interpreters should always consider the benefits and implications of using different forms of interpreter services, including face to face interpretation, over the phone interpretation and video conferencing.