AFSCME Supports Interpreters

It is vitally important that medical interpreters are available to non-native English speakers.
It could be the difference between life and death.

It is vitally important that non-native English speakers receive proper care and part of that care stems directly from having an interpreter. Medical interpreters are the intermediaries between patients and their doctors.

Without interpreters, patients run the risk of issues like taking incorrect dosage of medication or incorrect following of treatment plans. Interpreting for California, a coalition of community members, providers, and patients is fighting for funding medical interpreters by supporting AB 1263. AFSCME is participating as part of this coalition to ensure equal access regardless of language spoken. To learn more about Interpreting for California’s efforts to fund more medical interpreters and their organization, click here

This funding will help ensure stories like the one below don’t happen.

“Otilia O. gave birth in 2009 at Mercy Community Hospital in Fresno.  She was prescribed medication for the pain but there was no interpreter and no one went over her medical record with her.  A week later the swelling and pain continued; she went to the ER to find out what was going on for a third time.  While at the ER, they found that her baby had a fever and irregular heartbeat after they noticed the baby’s eyes fluttering.  While Otilia was kept at St. Agnes, they rushed her baby to another hospital.  They found the baby’s heartbeat was irregular because of the tremendous amount of pain medication the mother passed onto her through breast-feeding. Her baby almost died as a result.  No one went over the pain medication or potential side effects with her in Spanish.” 

It’s necessary for patients to have correct medical information and the ability to ask questions. Without interpreters and this ability, stories like what happened to Otilia’s baby will continue to occur.

To get involved in making a difference in the lives of non-native English speakers and join the community mini-bus tour, please RSVP with Maximus Weikel at (215) 766 0180

For flyers in English, click here

For flyers in Spanish, click here.


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commented 2013-12-21 13:48:48 -0800
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