Cross-border healthcare for all EU residents? Linguistic access in the European Union

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In 2011, the European Union introduced a Directive to facilitate cross-border healthcare for EU citizens and residents. However, if healthcare services are provided in a language patients cannot fully understand, equal access to safe and high-quality healthcare cannot be guaranteed. This exploratory study examines provisions for linguistically diverse patients seeking cross-border healthcare in areas of Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. To address the language needs of these patients, healthcare organisations resort to a number of strategies, ranging from monolingual communication matching the language of the patient, to professional translation, interpreting and cultural mediation, or to informal and non-professional ad hoc solutions. In the absence of formal language guidance in EU legislation, in most observed cases appropriate language services are not provided for patients who are not proficient in the language of the Member State in which they seek healthcare. This study raises ethical questions regarding access and communication and has implications for policy makers, healthcare providers, educators, translators, interpreters and cultural mediators serving the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-134
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018

Fingerprint

EU
resident
linguistics
language
EU citizen
communication
interpreter
translator
Greece
mediation
Italy
Spain
legislation
educator

Keywords

  • access
  • cultural mediator
  • diversity
  • interpreting
  • language support
  • translation

Cite this

@article{fb51b252437343bc96ac284141cbb76f,
title = "Cross-border healthcare for all EU residents? Linguistic access in the European Union",
abstract = "In 2011, the European Union introduced a Directive to facilitate cross-border healthcare for EU citizens and residents. However, if healthcare services are provided in a language patients cannot fully understand, equal access to safe and high-quality healthcare cannot be guaranteed. This exploratory study examines provisions for linguistically diverse patients seeking cross-border healthcare in areas of Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. To address the language needs of these patients, healthcare organisations resort to a number of strategies, ranging from monolingual communication matching the language of the patient, to professional translation, interpreting and cultural mediation, or to informal and non-professional ad hoc solutions. In the absence of formal language guidance in EU legislation, in most observed cases appropriate language services are not provided for patients who are not proficient in the language of the Member State in which they seek healthcare. This study raises ethical questions regarding access and communication and has implications for policy makers, healthcare providers, educators, translators, interpreters and cultural mediators serving the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse patients.",
keywords = "access, cultural mediator, diversity, interpreting, language support, translation",
author = "Angelelli, {Claudia V.}",
year = "2018",
month = "6",
day = "11",
doi = "10.1558/japl.31818",
language = "English",
volume = "11",
pages = "113--134",
journal = "Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice",
issn = "2040-3658",
publisher = "Equinox Publishing Ltd",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cross-border healthcare for all EU residents? Linguistic access in the European Union

AU - Angelelli, Claudia V.

PY - 2018/6/11

Y1 - 2018/6/11

N2 - In 2011, the European Union introduced a Directive to facilitate cross-border healthcare for EU citizens and residents. However, if healthcare services are provided in a language patients cannot fully understand, equal access to safe and high-quality healthcare cannot be guaranteed. This exploratory study examines provisions for linguistically diverse patients seeking cross-border healthcare in areas of Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. To address the language needs of these patients, healthcare organisations resort to a number of strategies, ranging from monolingual communication matching the language of the patient, to professional translation, interpreting and cultural mediation, or to informal and non-professional ad hoc solutions. In the absence of formal language guidance in EU legislation, in most observed cases appropriate language services are not provided for patients who are not proficient in the language of the Member State in which they seek healthcare. This study raises ethical questions regarding access and communication and has implications for policy makers, healthcare providers, educators, translators, interpreters and cultural mediators serving the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse patients.

AB - In 2011, the European Union introduced a Directive to facilitate cross-border healthcare for EU citizens and residents. However, if healthcare services are provided in a language patients cannot fully understand, equal access to safe and high-quality healthcare cannot be guaranteed. This exploratory study examines provisions for linguistically diverse patients seeking cross-border healthcare in areas of Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the UK. To address the language needs of these patients, healthcare organisations resort to a number of strategies, ranging from monolingual communication matching the language of the patient, to professional translation, interpreting and cultural mediation, or to informal and non-professional ad hoc solutions. In the absence of formal language guidance in EU legislation, in most observed cases appropriate language services are not provided for patients who are not proficient in the language of the Member State in which they seek healthcare. This study raises ethical questions regarding access and communication and has implications for policy makers, healthcare providers, educators, translators, interpreters and cultural mediators serving the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse patients.

KW - access

KW - cultural mediator

KW - diversity

KW - interpreting

KW - language support

KW - translation

U2 - 10.1558/japl.31818

DO - 10.1558/japl.31818

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 113

EP - 134

JO - Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

JF - Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice

SN - 2040-3658

IS - 2

ER -