Updated: 05/29/2014 23:04

Measures taken to reduce risk of miscommunication in public healthcare institutions



Measures taken to reduce risk of miscommunication in public healthcare institutions

Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Faishal Ibrahim, says public healthcare institutions have taken steps to ensure that their foreign staff can communicate effectively with patients. 

He told Parliament that about 35 per cent of foreign healthcare staff from doctors to allied healthcare workers, recruited in the past 5 years have participated in at least 1 language programme. 

There are local assimilation programmes, including language courses, to familiarise foreign healthcare staff with local clinical practice, and this includes language and cultural context. 

The Health Ministry also provides public healthcare institutions with a training fund to support foreign nurses in enrolling for language courses. 

More than 2,000 foreign nurses have benefitted from this scheme between 2009 and 2013. 

Dr Faishal added that public healthcare institutions ensure a good mix of foreign and local healthcare staff are rostered for each shifts. 

Pictorial guides are also available to help staff communicate better with patients. 

And with these measures in place, the risk of miscommunication is reduced.

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