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Language Services

Provincial Language Services strives to create equitable language and communication access to all health information for patients and clients.

Hello in several languages

Provincial Language Services helps organizations better serve their linguistically and culturally diverse clients, including immigrants, refugees, official minority language speakers and members of the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing community through high-quality interpreting and translation. 

Services we offer
Provincial Language Services offers high-quality language access services to health authorities, family practice practitioners, specialist offices, and other allied health professionals.

Services that Provincial Language Services provides 

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Service benefits
Using an equity-driven approach, Provincial Language Services works to ensure communication between the patient and provider is accessible.  All of our services assist in creating equitable access to health care and health information for patients who speak immigrant and refugee languages, official minority language speakers (French in B.C.), and members of the Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing community.

Services include interpreting (rendering of oral language), translation (rendering of written language), community outreach, health navigation services, and knowledge translation promotion. 

Our services optimize the delivery of safe and equitable health care for patients with various cultural and language needs.

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Quality assurance
At Provincial Language Services, quality assurance is a multi-level process embedded in all aspects of our service delivery.  Our processes contribute to a culture of continuous improvement of our services and organization.

Provincial Language Services adheres to strict policies and procedures on professional conduct.  Any compliments or complaint/incident regarding Provincial Language Services procedures, staff, contract staff and service providers (interpreter, intervenor, captioner and translator) is documented, investigated and tracked.

To report adverse events, good catches (near misses) and safety hazards related to language access, use Patient Safety & Learning System.

To make a compliment or complaint, please contact Provincial Language Services Quality Assurance.

CameraVideo call:  Email to schedule a video call

faxFax: 604-297-9304

PhonePhone:  604-297-8400

mailMail: Provincial Language Services Quality Assurance
                             1795 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, B.C. V5V 6E3

Policy & legal
PHSA Language Access Policy
The Language Access Policy (PDF) directs PHSA staff on the appropriate use of language services to reduce or eliminate language barriers to optimize safe and equitable care delivery. 

Accessing Interpreting and Translation Services protocols
Accessing Interpreting and Translation Services (PDF) protocols were developed to support the Provincial Health Service Authority Language Access Policy, which directs PHSA staff on using language services to reduce or eliminate language barriers that may negatively impact patient safety and/or be a barrier to delivering equitable care.

Consent to health care
During consent to health care discussions, a qualified interpreter and translator are to be used to gain consent should there be a language barrier between PHSA staff and the patient or patient’s spouse, or any near relatives or close friends who accompany the patient and offer their assistance. For Indigenous languages, an Indigenous patient liaison or elder may assist with consent in lieu of a qualified interpreter. Please refer to PHSA’s Consent to Health Care Policy.

Privacy and confidentiality
All patient information collected during an interpreting or translation request is deemed and will remain confidential. Information is only disclosed to those directly responsible for carrying out all aspects of the service provision. All matters covered by this policy are subject to PHSA’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy (PDF).

Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing individuals have a legal right to access sign language interpreters, intervenors and Computer-Assisted Remote Translation (CART) services at medical appointments following a 1997 Supreme Court of Canada rule that sign language interpreting must be provided to Deaf patients in B.C. to comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Please read more on Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing legal rights.
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