For Medical Practitioners
Private medical practitioners are eligible to access the Free Interpreting Service when delivering services that are:
- Medicare rebateable
- Delivered in private practice
- Provided to anyone in Australia who has a Medicare card.
Nursing and practice support staff who are working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code. A free interpreter is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
More information about FREE Interpreter Services for Medical Practitioners
Doctors Priority Line 1300 131 450
For Allied Health Professionals
Allied health professionals in private practice delivering services to patients within approved Local Government Areas can now access the Free Interpreting Service.
To be eligible for the pilot program, allied health professionals must meet all three of the below criteria:
- The allied health professional must be delivering services in a private practice to patients who are eligible for a Medicare card.
- The allied health professional must be in one of the approved allied health disciplines and hold specific accreditations/certifications
- The allied health professional must be delivering their services in one of the approved local government areas (LGA)
Download a list of eligible disciplines, certifications and LGAs
If you meet all eligibility requirements you can apply for access to free interpreting by filling out the online application form on the TIS National website
Each allied health professional will need to apply for their own personal account, we are unable to approve applications for single accounts with multiple allied health staff.
PHN funded Allied Health Interpreter Program
This program supports access to private allied health services by non-English speaking clients and ensure free interpreting services are available to AHPs working in private practice to communicate with non-English speaking clients. Registered AHPs can receive FREE access to Immediate phone interpreting, Pre-booked phone interpreting and On-site interpreting.
Download the FLYER and expression of interest or contact 3864 7580 or email@example.com.
Due to the high number of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) now registered for the ‘Interpreting for AHPs Program,’ Brisbane South PHN are reviewing each new application with consideration to local need and program capacity. If an AHP would like to be considered for the program, they should send a completed EOI to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 07 3864 7599. Brisbane South PHN will communicate the outcome of the EOI via email.
Brisbane North & Moreton Bay Region
- Download the list of AHPs to refer to.
- Fill in an Expression of Interest to join the program or contact 3864 7580 or email@example.com.
Darling Downs & West Moreton
Darling Downs & West Moreton PHN has established a program.
More information or contact (07) 4615 0933
Tips for working with Interpreters
Metro South Health – Videos for clincians
‘Working effectively with interpreters and translators’ e-learning packages, developed by Children’s Health Qld Education for clinicians, interpreters and translators to develop collaborative interprofessional partnerships. View them here.
- E-learning package for clinicians
- E-learning package for speech pathologists
- E-learning package for interpreters and translators to work with speech pathologists.
- Development and evaluation of interprofessional e-learning for speech pathologists, interpreters and translators by Claire Xiaochi Zhang, Jeanne Marshall, Anne Bernard, Katie Walker-Smith The International Journal of Translation and Interpreting Research Vol 12, No.1 (2020).
- Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership – Guide for clinicians working with interpreters in healthcare settings (Jan, 2019)
- Compassionate conversations: A Guide to using an interpreter in virtual communication
- More useful information for health care providers in preparing for difficult conversation virtually can be found in the compassionate conversations guide.
- Working with patients when there are language barriers (Updated Nov 2018)
- HOW TO USE TIS NATIONAL TELEPHONE SERVICE
- The dangers of working with a family member as interpreter: This video demonstrates the importance of using interpreters when seeing patients who do not speak English. Rez Kempton – Husband, Goldy Notay – Wife, Clementine Wade – Doctor (2012) University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust Watch it here.
- What’s wrong with using family and friends to interpret? Watch this video.
- Resource Guide on working with interpreters in challenging situations – developed by the Health Equity and Access Team. The Guide will help staff to improve communication and language support for our culturally and linguistically diverse patients.
- Regional Interpreting Internship Model (2021)- CatholicCare Social Services
- Digital copy of the TIS National multilingual poster
- Interpreter Identification Card – Put this sign in Practice Reception so that patients can point to the language they speak. Practice staff can then arrange an interpreter at no charge. Developed by Metro South Health, 2016.
- Languages of the world – Use this list to assist you to identify which language your patient may require an interpreter for.
- CALD Assist – A way for nursing staff and allied health clinicians to communicate with patients from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds when an interpreter is not available. Includes: 10 common languages, 5 allied health disciplines: Dietetics, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry and Speech Pathology and nursing specific module. Read more here.
- The Free Translating Service is provided for people settling permanently in Australia, to support participation in employment, education and community engagement.Permanent residents and select temporary or provisional visa holders are able to have up to ten eligible documents translated, into English, within the first two years of their eligible visa grant date. The Migration Translators delivers the Free Translating Service on behalf of the Department of Social Services. More information here.
Legislation, policies and guidelines
- Language Services Policy and Guidelines – Qld Government
- Guide to clinicians working with interpreters in health settings and Competency Standards Framework for Clinicians – Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership
- AUSIT Guidelines for Healthcare settings
Further reading and links
- Critical Case Analysis of adverse event associated with failure to use interpreters with non English speaking patients – ANU Research Summary
- Using interpreters – A Guide for GPs – Christine Phillips (2010)
- Working with Interpreters – Queensland Health Guidelines
- TIS (Translating and Interpreter Service)
- Video – “Working with Interpreters in the Healthcare Setting” – Western Sydney Health
Find out if you are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service HERE