Free Interpreting Service for pharmacies
The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.
Pharmacies can access the Free Interpreting Service to provide community pharmacy services by calling the Pharmacy Priority Line.
Watch an educational video for pharmacists.
Why pharmacies use interpreters
Australia has a rich cultural diversity. Pharmacies use credentialed interpreters to communicate with people who may have limited or no English proficiency.
Pharmacies dispense medications that can be dangerous if taken incorrectly and information about medications can be complex. It is essential that people can communicate effectively with staff in pharmacies about the medications they are taking, how to take them correctly and any risks or side effects that may be associated. Using interpreters can also protect pharmacists from professional risk.
The Free Interpreting Service:
- is free, easy and convenient
- connects you to an interpreter within a few minutes
- includes access to more than 3000 interpreters in more than 160 different languages
- is private and confidential
- is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Services available to pharmacies
Pharmacies can use the Free Interpreting Service to access immediate or pre-booked phone interpreting.
Immediate phone interpreting is best for unplanned interactions. To access this, simply call 1300 131 450 and follow the prompts.
Pre-booked phone interpreting is useful for planned interactions, such as Home Medicine Reviews. To pre-book a phone interpreter, go to tisnational.gov.au/bookingform
Pharmacists and other staff working in pharmacies are eligible for the Free Interpreting Service if:
- the pharmacy has a PBS approval number OR a pharmacist is registered with AHPRA
- they are working in a community setting (hospital pharmacies should refer to their hospital’s interpreting policy)
- the client is entitled to Medicare.
Pharmacies can use the Free Interpreting Service to dispense medication, provide general advice and deliver other general pharmacy services, including but not limited to:
- screening and risk assessment
- wound care
- smoking cessation
- opioid substitution therapy
- providing leave certificates.
The Free Interpreting Service can also be used for programs delivered under the Community Pharmacy Agreement. This includes:
- Medication Management Programs
- Home Medicine Reviews
- MedsChecks, including Diabetes MedsChecks
- Residential Medication Management Review and Quality Use of Medicine Services
- Medication Adherence Programs
- Dose administration aids
- Clinical Interventions
- Staged supply programs.
Register for a client code
Each pharmacy will need a unique client code to access the service. Pharmacists not associated with a pharmacy can register for their own code.
To register for a client code, complete the online client registration form on the TIS National website. If you require assistance with registering contact TIS National on 1300 575 847.
How to access the Free Interpreting Service
1. Call TIS National on 1300 131 450.
2. Provide the operator with the language of the interpreter that you need.
3. Provide your client code and the name of the pharmacy or pharmacist.
4. Request an interpreter of a particular gender, if required (subject to availability).
- Read: about the Free Interpreting Service: tisnational.gov.au/FIS
- Watch: videos about TIS National services and how to work with interpreters tisnational.gov.au/videos
- Order: free promotional materials from the online TIS National catalogue: tisnational.gov.au/promomaterials
- Contact: TIS National on 1300 575 847 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pharmacy Priority Line
1300 131 450
24 hours a day, every day of the year
Download the PDF version of the Free Interpreting Service - pharmacy information sheetDownload the DOC version of the Free Interpreting Service - pharmacy information sheet