A city and town in Okayama Prefecture, called Ibara City and Yakage-cho, will start a 24-hour service from April 1 to send the sign language interpreter to a medical facility where a Deaf patient is transported due to sudden illness, etc.
This service will be available only in Ibara City and Yakage-cho. The fire emergency union contacts the sign language interpreter in the Ibara Sign Language Circle and rushes to the medical institution or the patient's residence, after it receives a request from the Deaf by a special fax.
Prior application is necessary for the interpreting service though the request via the fax can be used at any time.
For the application to be submitted at the city or town, the emergency contact, the primary care physician, and case histories, etc. other than the person in question are requested to fill in on the form. The deadline is March 5.
There was a case that the rescue personnel and the doctor did not grasp a medical situation of the Deaf patient who was transported in the past. The Ibara branch of the Okayama Prefecture Association of the Deaf has demanded the interpreting service in medical emergency.
The briefing was held at the city health center on February 21. The officials asked the participants including the Deaf to send the application for use ahead, saying, "Even in case of emergency, the communication with the emergency staff including doctors will go more smooth".