Free Interpreting Service for medical practitioners

20 December 2017

Medical practitioners working in private practice can use the Free Interpreting Service.

General practitioners and approved medical specialists can use the Free Interpreting Service when delivering Medicare‑rebateable services in private practice to anyone with a Medicare card.

The service is available through TIS National.

Nursing and practice support staff working with practitioners registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code.

TIS National provides interpreters in over 160 languages and dialects, available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Once registered for the service, medical practitioners get access to the Doctors Priority Line. This gives them priority access to interpreters over other callers.

Working with professional interpreters ensures medical practitioners can communicate effectively with their patients.

This is particularly important when understanding symptoms and prescribing medication or treatment. It’s also crucial when:

  • seeking informed consent
  • in a crisis
  • dealing with complexity
  • assessing patient competence

Research by the Australian National University Medical School provides examples of significant physical and psychological harm resulting from not using a professional interpreter.

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Page last updated: 17 January 2018