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Know Your Rights
Source: WNYC Public Radio
Subject: Health Justice & Access
Type: Media Coverage

Hospitals Improve Translation Services

REPORTER: 4 city hospitals
have increased their language services for non-English speakers with the help
of immigrant advocate organizations.

Aida Torres, of Brooklyn, hopes improved access to interpreters will help
bridge the language barrier in healthcare.

Torres brought her
35-year-old special needs daughter to the emergency room two years ago, with a
burning fever.

She couldn’t understand what
doctors at Long Island
College Hospital
were saying.

TORRES: No encontraba…

CULLINANE: I don’t speak
English and the doctors don’t speak Spanish, I had a difficult time
communicating and I didn’t know what was going on.

REPORTER: Sarah Cullinane of Make the Road by Walking, an immigrant rights group, translates.

Torres says a friend of hers
took a day off from work to help her communicate with hospital staff.

When her daughter, Marangely
needed an operation, Torres asked a cleaning woman at the hospital to check in
with her after visiting hours ended.