Hispanic patients increasing at University of Oklahoma Medical Center

Monday, January 24th 2005, 6:28 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The number of Hispanic patients at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center is increasing.

And that's led to a rise in Spanish language translation services.

OU officials say the number of Hispanic patients increased 12% between 2002 and 2003. Patients needing translation services increased almost 15% last year.

Translation coordinator Jorge Cure says the medical center averaged 985 interpretations a month in 2004 compared with 842 a month the year before.

Hospitals receiving federal funds are required to provide free interpreters to all patients who need them, but there is no requirement for special training.

Many hospitals rely on in-house language banks that might include Spanish-speaking housekeepers or cafeteria workers.