A family of Kurds from Syria rushed into the emergencies of Thessaloniki’s General Hospital “G. Gennimatas”; the mother was in panic and her three little girls in a state of shock. As the parents explained to the interpreter, a motorcycle had fallen on them.
The eldest daughter, 4 years old, immediately entered the ER. But the mother couldn’t calm down. She was pacing outside the ER crying. At some point she approached the interpreter and confessed to him that she was worried for her middle daughter (2 years old), who had also been hit by the motorcycle.
Immediately, the interpreter along with the local coordinator took the initiative to address the pediatric surgery doctor and kindly asked him to examine the middle daughter as well. The doctor accepted and following the admission procedure, he immediately started examining the two-year-old girl. In fact, after a while the little girl started getting dizzy and vomiting. It was actually revealed that her case was more serious than her sister’s. In the end, both the little girls had to be hospitalized for three days before returning home healthy.
No one would wish to imagine what could have happened if there wasn’t an interpreter to help the mother communicate directly with the doctors. Cases like this one, prove how important, even vital, is the role of the interpreter in the communication between medical staff and refugee and migrants patients.
For ten years, METAdrasi has been covering the ever growing needs for interpretation in hospitals across Greece through specially trained and certified interpreters, having carried out a total of more than 140,000 interpretation sessions.
Since March 2019, the provision of interpretation to healthcare services and public hospitals in the mainland has been implemented with the support of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).