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Written by Jessie Mather-Lingley, Language Services Coordinator, Provincial Language Service / PHSA

The Provincial Language Service provides interpreting services to the Lower Mainland health authorities. This service supports communication between patients, families and health care providers across the region.

The Provincial Language Service (PLS) provides interpreting services to the Lower Mainland Health Authorities. This service supports communication between patients, families and health care providers across the region through the delivery of high quality interpreting services to limited English proficient (LEP) patients.

PLS scope of services is designed to support health authority staff to better service their LEP population.  The scope of service extends to all health authority staff (medical and other) and contractors with privileges requiring assistance with communication during the performance of their duties (see LMIS guidelines for details).

PLS scope of service does not extend to interpreting for all research projects[1], physicians’ private practice and contracted service providers (e.g. residential care). Interpreting for these services may be provided on a cost-recovery basis.

Confused?

If you answer yes to both questions below, the service is for you.

  1. Am I a staff or contractor with privileges at one of the lower mainland health authorities?
  2. Is the service for a patient or family member at a facility or program of one of the lower mainland health authorities?

We have put together some scenarios for you to review and identify whether the request for interpreting services are within or outside of the scope of PLS.

Scenario Examples

  1. Brooke is a health care provider at a hospital. Brooke frequently utilizes interpreting services to support in communicating with their LEP patients. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Brooke also works at a local college to provide demonstrations to students about various health care procedures.  Brooke is interested in having an interpreter attend one of these demonstrations. Is Brooke’s request within scope of PLS?
  2. Erin is a social worker with a local health authority and typically works out of a community health centre, but sometimes is required to meet with patients outside of the health centre. Next Friday, Erin has a session at a local school with a student and the student’s parents. The parents require an interpreter. This session will overview specific health related concerns that may impact the student’s performance in school and a meeting between the school administration and the student and their parents is needed. Is Erin’s request within scope of PLS?

Responses to Scenarios

  1. This scenario is not within scope of PLS services because Brooke’s role at the college is independent of her job at the health authority. While at the college she is not providing a health authority service.
  2. This scenario is within scope. Erin, as a social worker, is providing a service that is within scope of the duties of a health authority social worker. The fact that the session is happening at location that is not affiliate with a health authority does not factor in because the service provided is part of the health authority mandate.

Questions? 

Email pls@phsa.ca

 

[1] Research projects  that are funded by one of the lower mainland health authorities can access interpreters through PLS.


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