Phone interpretation service available for foreign patients
By Yun Suh-young
Interpretation services are now available for foreign patients involved in disputes with hospitals here.
The Korea Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency (KMDMAA), which began operating in April, said Friday that it began providing interpretation services for foreign patients from June 8. The agency provides the service in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.
“We believe the interpretation service will help create a friendlier and safer medical environment for foreigners and help the government attract more foreign patients through its quick and efficient service,” an agency official said.
The interpretation service will be provided in 18 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Thai, Mongolian, Burmese, Arabic, Indonesian, French, Bangladeshi, Nepalese, Cambodian, German, Spanish, Filipino, and Urdu.
The service will be provided as a three-way system where the foreigners’ information center under the Ministry of Justice will participate in phone calls between foreigners and the arbitration agency that will help out during the consultation process.
The interpretation service allows foreign patients who are involved in medical disputes to receive consultation in their own language. The phone line which is established between the arbitration agency and the ministry will be used solely for the interpretation service.
The agency had been in the process of establishing the interpretation system for foreigners since March, even before the opening of the agency. The agency provides consultation services on medical disputes.
According to the law, foreigners are entitled to compensation from medical organizations if they are given the wrong treatment or suffer from malpractice.
Since the agency opened, it received four complaints from foreign patients and provided consultation services to them. By nationality, there was one from an American and three from Chinese patients. Categorizing according to medical treatment, two cases involved plastic surgery, one dermatological matter and one ophthalmological issue.
To receive the interpretation service, call 02-6210-0114.