Interpretation Service

Interpretation Service Available in Hospital Authority Hospitals

Interpretation Services in Hospital In the course of medical treatment, patients and Hospital Authority (HA) staff may need interpretation service to facilitate communication. Both patients and HA staff may request the hospital or clinic concerned to arrange interpretation service related to health care services. Interpretation service can be arranged in advance by schedule or on ad hoc basis, whichever appropriate, to facilitate the communication between patients and HA staff. For example, scheduled service is more appropriate for patients with medical appointment at the Specialist or General Out-patient Clinics; whereas ad hoc service would be suitable for non-scheduled cases (such as emergency admission).

In addition to interpretation service, materials designed for enhancing communication with patients include standard response cue cards, patient information sheets containing information of common diseases and consent forms. These materials are available in Chinese, English and other languages including Arabic, Bahasa (Indonesian), Bengali, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Nepali, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. Patients can indicate to HA staff their own languages by referring to the home countries flags / sign language poster shown below.

Interpretation Services in Hospital Currently, interpretation service is provided mainly by a service contractor, freelance interpreter for the Judiciary Administration (includes Chinese dialects), relevant Embassy / Consulate Office (except for sign language) or volunteers. The existing service contractor provides interpretation services for 17 languages (Arabic, Bahasa (Indonesian), Bengali, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Pushto, Punjabi, Sinhala, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese), including sign language.

General information on HA hospitals, clinics and fees and charges in other languages can be found on this page.

Patients who need interpretation service can seek assistance from hospital staff under the following situations:



Interpretation Service

Contact Point

  1. Patient holds a medical appointment slip/referral letter


Medical appointment at General Out-patient or Specialist clinics

  • Make an appointment in advance for an on-site interpretation service or a telephone interpretation service
  • General Out-patient Registration Office
  • Specialist Out-patient Registration Office
  • Ward / Unit


  1. No appointment - patient at AED/Enquiry Counter


Hospital admission during emergency

  • Call for immediate telephone interpretation service
  • Immediate on-site interpretation service


  • Accident & Emergency Department Registration
  • Enquiry Counter


Details on types of languages available and service hours of the service contractor:

Service Hours

Monday – Sunday
including Public Holidays
(Time: 08:00-22:00 )

Monday – Sunday
including Public Holidays
(Time: 22: 01-07:59) (overnight)

Types of services

On-site, Telephone and Video-call interpretation service

Telephone interpretation service

Types of languages

Arabic / Bahasa (Indonesian) / Bengali / French / German / Hindi / Japanese / Korean / Nepali / Pushto / Punjabi / Sinhala / Spanish / Tagalog / Thai / Urdu / Vietnamese

Sign language

Bahasa (Indonesian) / Bengali / Hindi / Nepali / Punjabi / Tagalog / Thai / Vietnamese / Urdu

Besides, HA also provides the following documents and information sheets to enhance communication between hospital staff and patients of diverse race in order to facilitate patient’s registration and delivery of services:

Food Provision for In-patients

Subject to patient’s condition, an in-patient can request hospital staff to provide Halal or vegetarian food if necessary.

If there is any inconsistency or ambiguity between the English version and version for other languages, the English version shall prevail.

Administrative Guidelines on Promotion of Racial Equality