Free Interpreting Service for private medical practitioners
The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.
Private medical practitioners can access the Free Interpreting Service to provide Medicare rebatable services to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare.
Why should medical practitioners engage an interpreter?
Australia has a rich cultural and linguistic diversity. The 2021 census revealed that over 5.5 million Australians speak a language other than English at home. Furthermore, Australians represent over 250 different ancestries and speak more than 350 languages.
Medical practitioners can engage a credentialed interpreter to communicate complex or technical information to patients with limited or no English language proficiency. This can help to ensure accuracy of communication, reduce confusion, save time, and protect practitioners from professional risk. It is particularly important when:
- seeking informed consent
- dealing with patients in a crisis
- dealing with complexity
- assessing patient competence.
Language services available to private medical practitioners
Private medical practitioners can use the Free Interpreting Service to access interpreting services delivered by TIS National, including:
- immediate phone interpreting
- Automated Telephone Interpreting Service (ATIS)
- pre-booked phone interpreting
- on-site interpreting
- video remote interpreting.
For more information, read Frequently Asked Questions for agencies and log in to TIS Online for our TIS Online user guides for agencies.
Under the Free Interpreting Service, 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 services that are:
- delivered in private practice
- provided to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare.
Practice support staff working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code.
The Free Interpreting Service can be used for delivering health services, including but not limited to:
- arranging appointment times
- undertaking health consultations
- developing health plans
- providing medical test results.
The Free Interpreting Service cannot be used for:
- non-eligible allied health services
- patients who are not eligible for Medicare
- state funded public health services, such as services provided in hospitals.
Register for the Free Interpreting Service
Each practitioner will need a unique client code to access the service. 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, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Read: about the Free Interpreting Service: tisnational.gov.au/FIS
- Read: about how to access TIS National’s online booking system TIS Online
- 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 email@example.com
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