Abstract or Introduction
With regards to the local context, the present study was aimed at discerning if language barriers caused by the migrant influx are in fact a significant obstacle in providing healthcare in Malta.
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.
- Quote paper
- Gary Lee Meagher (Author), 2019, Interpreting Services in the Maltese Healthcare Context. Are Language Barriers an Obstacle for Providing Healthcare?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/498192