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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second One of the major issues in refugee health care is the language. So it’s really important that patients and the doctor or nurse can talk to each other and can understand each other. In the next case which happened in the asylum seekers’ accommodation, it is really visible how important language is. A family was about to be deported and when the police officers arrived, the mother collapsed and had a panic attack and the father tried to commit suicide. Both were brought to the hospital and the children who witnessed this were really distressed.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds The oldest daughter - due to the fact that she was worried about her parents and in fear of being deported and kind of in a responsible role for her younger siblings - got really distressed and had extreme behavior changes. So our team decided that she needed psychological care, and for that reason the children’s doctor and the psychologist filed an application with the authorities that she needed psychological treatment and also an interpreter. And the authorities granted psychological care but just half of the hours applied for and they didn´t grant the interpreter.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds Even though there is a right to health and a right to get the highest attainable standard of health care for every human being, they did not grant it, even though it’s impossible to have psychological care without a common language, without communication.

Overcoming language barriers

After watching the video, please share your opinion on the questions provided below.

When refugees need health care in your city/district:

Is it feasible for health care providers in your city/district to make use of professional interpreters? If no, what are the best alternatives in your context?

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Addressing Violence Through Patient Care

University of Bergen

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