Columnist Looks at Need for Trained Medical Interpreters in Rochester, N.Y.Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist Mark Hare on Thursday examined the need for trained medical interpreters to improve care for immigrants in Rochester, N.Y. According to Hare, many communities are experiencing a wave of new immigrants from Africa, Burma, China, Eastern Europe and Vietnam. In Monroe County alone, there are 120,000 residents who speak little or no English, according to Eric Candle, the New York state representative for the International Medical Interpreters Association.
Candle said that immigrants with little or no English proficiency often delay medical care or seek more expensive care from emergency departments. In addition, Candle noted a Joint Commission study that found that the annual costs of "misdirected" or "misunderstood" medical care is $73 billion. Candle is reaching out to Rochester-area colleges to lobby for a program that would train and certify area medical interpreters (Hare, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 3/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.