Interpretation Services

LHSC offers free interpretation services for patients. We are committed to providing equitable access to quality safe care for all patients.  Removing barriers to communication is one of the ways in which we can achieve this goal and offering patients dignity and autonomy through the use of professional interpreters.  Understanding your concerns, symptoms, and fears is essential to providing quality and safe care.

We know how important it is for you to be understood by your health care team and to be able to communicate in a language that you are most comfortable with. Having access to professional interpretation also ensures:
•    You get the correct information from us and that we get the correct information from you.
•    To make sure that you clearly know your diagnosis and can take part in your treatment plan.
•    To help you understand what health care you wish to receive

Ask for an interpreter if:

•    English is not your first language
•    You are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing

Interpreter services provided:

  • access to trained and qualified professional interpreters;
  • over 170 spoken languages;
  • American Sign language and deaf-blind interpreters;
  • Pre-scheduled in person, telephone or video interpretation services;
  • Urgent telephone or video interpretation services;
  • free of charge;
  • available 24/7; and
  • private and confidential service.

How to Access Interpretation Services at LHSC:

  1. Let your physician and staff know that you need an interpreter when you
    • come to the Emergency Department
    • are an in-patient at any of the hospital sites
    • book an outpatient or follow-up appointment 
  2. Tell staff what language you speak.
    Download and print out a list of different spoken languages so you can point to your preferred language and show your health care provider

What to do if you did not have a good experience with your professional interpreter:

Let your physician or health care provider know, and they will inform the Health Equity Office about your concerns.

You can also contact the Patient Relations Office to share your concerns by either calling 519-685-8500 ext. 52036 or email at patientrelations@lhsc.on.ca.