Understanding. Seems like the golden commodity we all seek in our relationships. What good news then that in the state of California, basic understanding between health care providers and privately insured patients who speak little to no English is required by law. According to the LA Times, beginning in 2009, health care professionals who fail to provide needed interpreters and translation services for patients will face fines - set by state regulators - of $10,000 or more.
Dr. Hector Flores said avoiding language
problems with patients requires hiring bilingual staff. At his clinic,
the 15-member staff speaks both English and Spanish. He still relies on
interpreters for his Asian and deaf patients.
"We should encourage medical students to pick up a language in addition to the scalpel," Flores said.
"One-on-one interpreting is much more intimate for both the patient and doctor," he said.
Dr. Hector Flores is a board certified Family Practitioner who strives to to build a meaningful professional relationship with patients and their families from the first time they meet. In addition to English, Dr. Flores also speaks Spanish. He practices in Montebello, California.