The organization Emun Hatzibur (Public Trust) has been fighting for years to have Israeli medical institutions conform to the requirements of linguistic accessibility required by the Ministry of Health. Add your voice to the following survey to assist their efforts for this profoundly important cause. Emun Hatzibur can also intercede on the behalf of individuals with specific active complaints. They can be reached directly at 03-560-6069 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: AACI’s Shira Pransky Project has no access to responses. This is a third-party survey that we are sharing in solidarity with the cause.
my career was as a clinical pharmacist in Toronto hospitals. We had access to certified translators for important family meetings ( with patient and /or family). We also had a list of all employees who spoke a second language.They were available for quick translations. At times we had uncommon Italian dialects but managed to find someone to translate- a family member of necessary .
Information pamphlets were available in the more common languages : Italian, Portuguese, Cantonese, Polish and a few others. Of course by law, any patient can request French translation.
Though I should, and do understand Hebrew, but when it come to some technical or medical terms I would prefer being BETTER aware of the exact meaning of a medical situation. Especially since it may be a matter of life and death.
The last point in the survey is rather misleading. It says: “It is important for us to know where there is a translation problem”. Nowhere have I suggested there IS a problem. I only expressed my preferences. I would strongly support and reiterate the comments above, from my good friend and landsman, Shmuel.
I also agree with Shmuel Shimshoni. A number of times a consent form has been presented, immediately before a procedure, when my concentration is not at its best for quickly reading and absorbing the Hebrew. If I ask to have it read, I am told it just says you agree to undergo whatever.
Once, I later saw the form I had signed, said that the Doctor had explained verbally about the procedure and any possible side effects. No such thing had occurred.
I have on occasion written “Not read”, and signed on the dotted line. Nobody noticed.
My primary difficulty has not been with the doctors or medical staff but in the office staff.
Translation problems getting an appointment, instructions to e-mail the physician for
prescription refills and the Maccabi “English translation” website does not record appointments
you schedule with the mainframe or provide English instructions. I have had difficulty understanding lab instructions, out-patient preparatory procedures and even simple deciphering how to maneuver the lab and/or the nurses office. — office hours, wait your turn but you don’t take a number or understand what was said to you when you knock on the door. I have had to have my daughter take care of most of this until my Ivrit has improved. It would be very helpful if they could have people at the reception desks who speak at least a little English or copies of
office procedures and hours in English. My computer will translate web pages but not e-mail and I have to forward the e-mails to my daughter for translation. There are no English booklets
on coverage or how to get processed for new glasses. Thank you for trying to make sure our critical health needs can be met but I feel we have a responsibility to learn the language — it just takes time.
although I do speak level of Ivrit, in all matters medical I prefer an English speaking doctor for exact clarity. This I request before I make an appointment. This arrangement however I have to do in Ivrit as many receptionists at the mocked don’t speak English.
A recent number of visits to maccabident I have an English speaking dentist but the plan of work and payments only comes in Ivrit.
I do find that many medications have instructions in Ivrit, Arabic and Russian, but English seems to have been overlooked.
I welcome this initiative.