Jan 11 2005

City’s Health Care Lost in Translation

Published by at January 11, 2005 8:24 pm under Global Culture,Interpretation,Translation

New Yorkers who do not speak English face enormous problems communicating with medical professionals at the city’s private and public hospitals, a report released yesterday reveals.

Nearly 75% of the 51 hospitals surveyed by the city controller’s office failed to provide Spanish-language services to callers to one or more of the hospitals’ departments.

“Here in New York City, the world’s melting pot and home to over 2 million foreign-born residents, it is unconscionable that basic health care services remain out of reach for citizens who don’t speak English,” Controller Bill Thompson said.

According to the 2000 Census, nearly 40% of the city’s population is foreign-born, with 52% of those residents coming from Latin America.

“But while the face of New York is changing every day, our hospitals are trapped in an English-only time warp,” Thompson said.

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