An interpreter is under an oath of confidentiality and cannot disclose information about you without your approval. Family and friends who interpret for you are not subject to confidentiality.
Various types of interpreting
An interpreter translates what caregivers say in a way that you can understand and that enables you to influence your treatment (see Patient Act). You may be entitled to an interpreter when you see a doctor, dentist or other caregiver.
There are various types of interpreting:
- The interpreter may be at the appointment in person.
- The interpreter may participate on a speaker phone.
- The interpreter may be able to video conference— a computer and web camera will allow you, the caregiver and the interpreter to communicate with each other.
- Group interpreting may be appropriate if several people speak the same language and will receive the same information. A typical situation is when several different parents get together at a child welfare centre.
Ask your caregivers what kind of interpreting is available to you.
You can use this language map to show them which language you need.
Tell caregivers what you need
Make sure to let the staff know that you need an interpreter either when you make an appointment or well in advance. Explain what language you want. Usually they will be able to arrange an interpreter for you.
If you cannot go to the appointment, the interpreter must be informed ahead of time. Some county councils charge you for the services of the interpreter if you fail to cancel. Each county council has its own cancellation procedures. Ask the caregivers who arrange for the interpreter how the system works.
Written information not translated
Interpreters do not normally translate written material. www.1177.se contains information in a number of different languages about childhood diseases, the healthcare system in general, etc.