Mothers reveal how language barriers impact prenatal care, as experts call for interpreters to be permanent hospital staff

Excerpted from ABC
Article by Dubravka Voloder
Published 10 November 2022

“Women from migrant backgrounds do have poorer maternal and child health outcomes than the general population,” said Regina Torres-Quiazon, acting executive director at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health in Melbourne.

“If you do come from a non-English speaking background, you’re less likely to participate or access health services.”

Dr Torres-Quiazon said language barriers were partly to blame, as there is limited availability of interpreters.

She said interpreters are not always skilled at understanding and properly translating pregnancy and antenatal care issues for migrant women, especially in rural and remote areas.

It is also a struggle building trusting relationships because these women rarely see the same interpreters or don’t feel comfortable with who is available, added Dr Torres-Quiazon.

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