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More translating services for culturally diverse patients

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Four health services will deliver innovative interpreting services to make it easier for patients from multicultural backgrounds to get the care they need, thanks to a new Andrews Labor Government program.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy recently announced recipients from the inaugural round of the Labor Government’s $623,000 Language Service Innovation Grants program.

The program will help healthcare workers provide the highest quality care that better meets the needs of non- English speaking patients from multicultural communities by expanding access to interpreters, an official press release said.

The four projects will see Western Health use video conferencing interpreting services for patients from refugee backgrounds, and Monash Health will develop data systems that will improve outcomes for women who need an interpreter during their maternity care.

Goulburn Valley Health will enhance the use of language services in Emergency, especially for newly-arrived Syrian and Iraqi patients, and Melbourne Health will begin to use video conferencing interpreting services, with a focus on providing telehealth consultations to refugees and immigrants living in rural Victoria.

The Victorian Refugee Health Network will also receive $80,000 to ensure what we learn from these projects can be shared with other Victorian health services.

This means more doctors and nurses will be able to provide care for culturally diverse patients that is person-centred, safer and will ultimately improve health outcomes.

The grants program is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $11 million funding boost over four years to support the growing Syrian and Iraqi refugee settlement in Victoria, the release added.

This funding will better support people from refugee backgrounds, as well as people seeking asylum, settle in their new home here in Victoria and improve their health and wellbeing.

Along with extra language services, there are more refugee health nurses, a catch-up immunisation program, a paediatric specialist holding outreach clinics, mental health programs and child and family services for unaccompanied refugee children and young people.

The number of refugees and asylum seekers in Victoria is higher than at any time in the past three decades. Over the past five years Victoria has settled over 24,000 refugees.

(TIW)

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