From April 1, immigrants who don’t speak a national language will receive assistance when seeking medical help. This help will be on hand in the form of a telephone interpreting service for medical emergencies or for brief clarifications. Interpreters will be available to translate from 12 languages into the three Swiss official languages German, French or Italian.
Community interpreters are already available to sit in and translate in consultations, and as of April 1 doctors will also be able to contact them by phone to interpret in emergencies.
Hospitals wanting to make use of the new telephone service will register with Medios and be given a security code. They can then phone in at any time of day or night and, it is hoped, be put in touch with an interpreter within about five minutes.