In pursuit of unifying availability of healthcare services to foreign residents who are treated in Lithuania, the Ministry of Health prepared special recommendations for the hospitals – to draw up lists of medics who speak foreign languages, publish more information in English on their websites, etc.
The recommendations that have been prepared in cooperation with the Public Institution Invest Lithuania will help the healthcare facilities to better organize assistance to patients who do not speak Lithuanian.
According to Lina Jaruševičienė, the Vice-Minister of Health, many foreign nationals work, have vacation and travel in Lithuania. Unfortunately, sometimes, because of their health problems, they have no other choice but to seek medical assistance at the healthcare facilities of our country. Their communication with our medical professionals may be hindered by language barrier. Thus, conditions of better, more convenient communication have a direct impact on the quality of healthcare services and patient satisfaction.
"We must ensure the same quality treatment conditions for all patients, no matter what language they speak - such is the mission of medical professionals. The recommendations are for the hospitals in the major cities. These hospitals are most likely to be visited by foreign patients. For this reason, they must be ready to provide services to the patient in a language that they understand", - says L. Jaruševičienė.
The hospitals are recommended to draw up lists of medics and reception staff who can communicate with patients in English, Polish, Russian, German, French. The lists must specify their contact details and such lists should be made publicly available both on own websites and in emergency departments of the hospitals.
The hospitals are also recommended to translate forms of patient consent to various intervention procedures, for example surgical operation, to English, and, if possible, to other popular languages.
The hospitals are also encouraged to install a reception menu in English, also to publish more contact and other relevant information in English on their websites.
The Ministry of Health will wait until 1 March next year for information from the hospitals which recommendations have already been or will be implemented.
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