Health & Wellness

Non English speaker patient option..?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 4th, 2021 7:28 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 8, 2015
46 posts
8 upvotes
Kitchener, ON

Non English speaker patient option..?

My girlfriend has some medical concern that she wants to see a doctor. She is not Canadian, does not have a health card, and speaks very broken English.

I have contacted many doctors that can speak her language, but all of them are either family doctors that do not see walk-in patient, or work in a public health/hospital that are not available to book.

We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words. I don't mind seeing another doctor with her, and do the translation. But it will be close to impossible because she can hardly express her medical concerns in English.

What are my options here...? Thanks in advance...
11 replies
Sr. Member
Dec 12, 2005
613 posts
129 upvotes
Richmond
How bad is her medical concern? Does it warrant an ER visit? If so, check the hospital if they have any interpreter. Otherwise, find a person who speaks her language or have her write everything then use Google translate it to present to the doctor.
Newbie
Nov 23, 2014
22 posts
16 upvotes
Richmond, BC
Why can't you translate?
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16621 posts
13939 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
hahaty wrote: Why can't you translate?
Clearly cuz he doesn’t speak her native tongue :

We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words.
Deal Addict
Jun 4, 2020
1193 posts
1079 upvotes
Clarington, ON
Find a doctor that speaks the same language?
Newbie
Nov 23, 2014
22 posts
16 upvotes
Richmond, BC
PointsHubby wrote: Clearly cuz he doesn’t speak her native tongue :

We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words.
Read the following sentence of what you just quoted. He "clearly" does speak her language.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 11, 2003
2419 posts
990 upvotes
Toronto
PointsHubby wrote: Clearly cuz he doesn’t speak her native tongue :

We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words.
But OP said the below. I assumed the OP can translate for her.
stevenleung0000 wrote: I don't mind seeing another doctor with her, and do the translation.
P10 2.4 THz CPU || 8 TB Ram || WD 300 TB HD || Nvidia w/ 32 TB Memory

"You're only as dumb as you look"
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
16621 posts
13939 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words.
hahaty wrote:
Read the following sentence of what you just quoted. He "clearly" does speak her language.
I don't mind seeing another doctor with her, and do the translation.
ds2chan wrote: But OP said the below. I assumed the OP can translate for her.
Or ... does he ?

But it will be close to impossible because she can hardly express her medical concerns in English.

Interesting

Cuz I took his quote at face value ...
Together they speak English with simple sentences & words

Otherwise ... why would she have to express her medical concerns in English ?

She’d use her native tongue ... and he’d understand it

Whereas in my scenario ...

The translation would be his knowing which words in English to use she would understand what the Dr is saying

Much like a parent knows how to communicate with a not fully verbal 1, 2, or 3 year old child
You live around them, you understand what they comprehend
As well as what they are trying to say
Although outsiders may not

Not that his GF is a child ...
Just that her English skills are currently child like
Deal Addict
Dec 12, 2009
4774 posts
2363 upvotes
Toronto
stevenleung0000 wrote: We communicate in English, and only use very simple sentences and words. I don't mind seeing another doctor with her, and do the translation. But it will be close to impossible because she can hardly express her medical concerns in English.

What are my options here...? Thanks in advance...
I'm wondering if Telehealth Ontario might be able to help.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-medical ... th-ontario

They can speak to her directly & give advice then possibly translate a summary for you to present to the doctor.
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2012
2161 posts
538 upvotes
In Hiding
OP has found family doctors who can speak her language - but not on a walk-in basis. Some family doctors will see someone without a health card - if you pay for their services. This is what OP says "I have contacted many doctors that can speak her language, but all of them are either family doctors that do not see walk-in patient, or work in a public health/hospital that are not available to book."

Is the issue the lack of a health card?
Deal Addict
May 1, 2003
1889 posts
70 upvotes
Toronto
If you're near a big international university call their health centre. They're usually used to dealing with international students and know how to bill directly/insurance and speak multiple languages. You're not in Toronto but there's lots of community centres that help immigrants both legal and illegal with health concerns. You're going to have to be more specific and or sit down with her and go over things with google translate. It actually works quite well in a pinch.

Top