Medical practitioners (defined as general practitioners, nurse practitioners and approved medical specialists) are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service and access to the Medical Practitioner Priority Line when providing services that are:
- delivered in private practice, and
- provided to non-English speakers who are eligible for Medicare.
Nursing and practice support staff who are working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code.
Doctors who meet the above criteria can apply for access to the Free Interpreting Service and the Medical Practitioner Priority Line by completing the Register agency form.
The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services that are not government funded, for people with limited or no English language proficiency.
The following groups can access the Free Interpreting Service to provide services to anyone in Australia who are eligible for Medicare:
- Medical practitioners: Private medical practitioners are defined as general practitioners, nurse practitioners and approved medical specialists. Private medical practitioners are eligible to access the Free Interpreting Service when delivering Medicare rebateable services in private practice. Practice support staff working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code.
For a list of approved Medical Specialists see: Medical Board of Australia - Medical Specialties and Specialty Fields.
- Pharmacies: to provide community pharmacy services and for programs delivered under the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement.
- Non-government organisations: when providing casework and emergency services, where the organisation does not receive substantial government funding to provide these services. Note: Organisations receiving substantial government funding are not eligible for the Free Interpreting Service. Organisations delivering government funded services should discuss access to interpreters with their government funding body.
- Real estate agencies: to discuss any private residential property matter.
- Local government authorities: to communicate about most local government services.
- Trade unions: to assist workers to access support and advice.
- Parliamentarians: for constituency purposes.
View more information about the Free Interpreting Service.
Use the eligibility calculator to find out if you are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service.
The Medical Practitioner and Pharmacy Priority Line is a free phone interpreting service which helps medical practitioners and pharmacists quickly connect to an interpreter to communicate with their non-English speaking patients.
The Priority Line is available to eligible medical practitioners and pharmacists 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Contact the Free Interpreting Service team on 1300 575 847 for more information about this service.