The Slovenia Times

Healthcare workers get multilingual manual to ease work with foreign patients


The Medical Chamber launched a four-volume manual to help them communicate that includes the most common questions and answers in seven foreign languages as well as pictograms for patients who have trouble reading.

Co-funded by the Interior Ministry as part of an integration project, the manual consists of a Slovenian-English-French, a Slovenian-Russian-Chinese, a Slovenian-Arabic-Farsi and a Slovenian-Albanian version.

It was prepared in cooperation among Ljubljana University's Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Health Sciences, the Public Health Institute and the Medical Chamber.

It was made in 250 copies but is also available online.

Although it cannot fully replace a skilled interpreter, the multilingual manual will come as great help to healthcare workers and patients who need to communicate on less complicated health issues, especially in primary healthcare, according to Vesna Homar of the Faculty of Medicine.

The translations and revisions were made by 21 experts from Slovenia and abroad, while native speaker doctors or patients were also included in the process, Nike Kocijančič Pokorn of the translation department at the Faculty of Arts said.

To further improve the material, a survey with almost 600 respondents was also conducted.

According to Marija Milavec Kapun of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the manual will help in the treatment of foreign tourists, refugees, migrants and foreign students. So far, the most problematic language barrier was Albanian, she said.

The launch of the manual will be accompanied by a series of free training courses for healthcare workers around Slovenia in the coming months.


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