Interpreter trial ensures hospitals are no longer places where Aboriginal people ‘go to die’

ABC News, ABC Kimberley

By Matt Bamford,  

Many Aboriginal people feel like hospital is a place where they “go to die” but a groundbreaking trial is underway to change that.

Interpreters have been introduced at hospitals in Western Australia’s far north to improve patients’ relationships with medical staff.

Speaking between three and nine languages each, the 22 interpreters are being stationed at five hospitals between Broome and Kununurra in a six-month State Government partnership with Aboriginal Interpreting WA.

Improving health literacy
: guidelines

Clinical Advisor,

It is no longer recommended that patients with low health literacy be identified. Instead, Universal Health Literacy Precautions are recommended.

While some providers are concerned that using plain language with health-literate patients will offend, studies show that patients with adequate health literacy prefer to receive health information in an easier to understand format.

Further, research indicates that patients with limited literacy will avoid contact with the healthcare system if they fear that their literacy issues will be discovered.

  • Read more here
  • Access AHRQ health literacy universal precautions toolkit here
  • Access Toolkit for making written material clear and effective here