All hospitals and medical centers should provide medical interpreters for people who are limited- or non-English speakers.
Medical interpreters should be available for most languages and are free-of-charge to the patient. These services may be in person or over the telephone.
It is best to use a trained medical interpreter rather than a family member or friend. Trained interpreters can explain complex medical terms and procedures that may not be familiar to non-medical people, even if they are fluent in a language. Friends and loved ones may also have an emotional response to the information given by a health care provider. This may affect how they give the information to the patient.
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