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Title: Interpreting services in the Maltese healthcare context : an investigation
Authors: Doublet Meagher, Gary Lee
Keywords: Public health -- Malta
Health facilities -- Translating services
Physician and patient -- Malta
Linguistic minorities -- Medical care -- Malta
Linguistic minorities -- Services for -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Doublet Meagher, G. L. (2019). Interpreting services in the Maltese healthcare context : an investigation (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: The quality and timeliness of the healthcare provision by the Maltese public healthcare system is possibly at risk due to the migrant influx and the resulting demographic shifts. Language barriers are a potential common occurrence in the Maltese healthcare context; their impact may be hindering the healthcare provision service. The literature focuses on the interactions between practitioner and patient or client, interpreting accuracy and budgeting across different healthcare systems. With regards to the local context, the present study was aimed at discerning if language barriers are in fact a significant obstacle in providing healthcare. To this end, a quantitative study setup was employed to answer the research questions. A questionnaire was sent to 77 practitioners hailing from different professions by way of inquiring on the frequency of language barriers, on the practitioners’ knowledge of healthcare interpreting and on their inclination towards a potential uptake of a healthcare interpreting service. Results show that language barriers, specifically patients or clients who exhibit limited Maltese or English, are common across the professions involved in this study. Additionally, the presence of language barriers may be veritably hindering the quality and timeliness of healthcare provision. Finally, the majority respondents are aware that a healthcare interpreter can offer significant help, despite displaying a potential lack of understanding of the interpreter’s precise role in healthcare interactions. Future efforts can then be aimed at gaining qualitative information on healthcare interactions in the Maltese public healthcare context, similar to the present pool of studies. Additional costs incurred and strategies employed by practitioners to overcome language barriers such as ad hoc interpreting should also in focus in subsequent research efforts.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2019
Dissertations - FacArtTTI - 2019

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