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Medical Translation Increased For Polish Patients

Medical translation is a highly specialized discipline where the translator uses his or her knowledge in medicine to deliver a scientific message across a language barrier. Medicine and sciences are based on universal concepts, unfortunately, languages are not. As the British and Germans were the first few who started documenting medical discoveries, most medical journals are widely written in their languages. Translation provides the means to broadcast the invaluable medical knowledge to the rest of the world.

The demand for translation at doctors has been steadily increasing throughout recent years. According to recent figures, the hospitals in Edinburgh invested about 13,000 hours in translation from English to Polish alone last year. The health officials said that this is also one of the reasons why the medical budget for that region saw an increase. This is understandable as the city of Edinburgh now accommodates one of the largest Polish populations in the UK.

The National Health Service estimated that about £500,000 was paid to medical translations to Polish in 2008 alone. The use of medical translation has risen since then and the NHS Medical Mice authority reported that the bill was about £700,000 in 2009. The officials forecast that there will be a similar increase in year 2010. As a result, the medical translation bill for Polish patients is now the highest compared to other non-English speaking patients.

The associate nurse director for NHS Lothian said that the health care service provides its services to a diverse and ever increasing population in Lothian; therefore it is vital that each patient who comes in to see the doctor understands what is being said during every step of the way. The associate nurse director was not surprised by the increasing expenses on translation because it is proportional to the increase in size of the population and local birth-rate in Lothian.

The figures released by the local officials showed that a total of 26,000 hours were spent on medical translation and about 13,000 hours were on Polish translations. Medical translations were also heavily used by Chinese speakers (4,000 hours), while patients who needed Arabic translations took up about 2,000 hours. There were also medical translations carried out for Turkish, Bengali, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Russian. Interestingly, only a total of one hour was used for Somali and Tamil medical translation.

The local Health authority commented that the provision of medical translation services to their patients is actually effective in lowering the NHS medical expenses in the long run. Why? They said that the translation provided free by the NHS actually encourages more people who do not speak good English  .


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