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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6729

Mr Oakeshott asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 12 May 2010:

(1)   Can she indicate what interpreter services are available in the public and private health sectors, and which of these services are funded by the Government.

(2)   Are specialists and general practitioners provided with the same access to, and Government support for, the use of interpreter services; if not, why not.

Ms Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   A range of interpreter services is available in the public and private health sectors depending on local need but it is not feasible to identify and list all available interpreter services. A key service funded by the Government is Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National, provided through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Free interpreting services are provided to non-English speaking Australian citizens or permanent residents communicating with private medical practitioners providing Medicare-rebateable services and their reception staff to arrange appointments and provide results of medical tests; and non-profit, non-government, community-based organisations for case work and emergency services where the organisation does not receive funding to provide these services.

(2)   Yes.