Group formed to start medical interpreting system in Osaka

Taking the opportunity that the city hospital is being rebuilt in Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture, a group will be formed in May to request the medical interpreting for Deaf persons and foreigners who have difficulties in communications with the medical staff to get the proper health care.

The preparatory meeting was held on February 12. It was found out that there is no medical institution that employs the full-time interpreter for the Deaf or the foreigners in the past.

The formal meeting is scheduled on May 14. TERASHIMA Koji (47) called for forming the group as his Deaf wife Hisae (49) often goes to the city hospital.

The city has the sign language interpreter dispatch system, which requires the application beforehand. So it is quite impossible to deal with the situation such as a sudden sickness or doctor's visit around in the hospital.

The foreign residents have faced with the same language problem as the Deaf Japanese in the medical situation.

Terashima learned that in the United States, medical interpreting covers not only the foreign languages but also the sign language for the medical treatment.

He and his friends decided to form a group to appeal the necessity of the medical interpreters for the Deaf and the foreign residents in the city.

There are about 1000 Deaf residents with with the physical disability certificate and about 4100 foreign counterparts who completed the alien registration in the city according to city officials.

At the preparatory meeting including both the Deaf and foreign communities, it was confirmed that the members would develop the activity to establish a system that works for the interested persons to be medically treated at ease.

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