To the Editor: I wish to commend the Journal for publishing the article by Cunningham1 and the analysis of her findings in the accompanying editorial.2 Both articles stress the need for improved communication between Indigenous patients and hospital staff.
The Kimberley Interpreting Service provides accredited Aboriginal language interpreters for six Kimberley languages, and is involved in training other interpreter candidates. We have been operating since November 2000 and are currently looking for funding to continue offering our service into the future.
To date, we have been working primarily in the legal sector and are quite perplexed as to why we do not receive bookings from the health services.
In 2002, the Kimberley Interpreting Service is targeting the health sector through a number of strategies, including the production of a promotional poster for use in hospitals and clinics, articles in medical publications, and face-to-face meetings with health professionals.
I encourage your readers to find out more about our service and to pass the message on to colleagues. We can be contacted at kisATwn.com.au, or please visit our website at http://members.westnet.com.au/mirima/
- 1. Cunningham J. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures among Australian hospital patients identified as Indigenous. Med J Aust 2002; 176: 58-62. <eMJA full text>
- 2. Fisher DA, Weeramanthri TS. Hospital care for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders: appropriateness and decision making [editorial]. Med J Aust 2002; 176: 49-50. <eMJA full text>
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.