State brochure reminds doctors to provide sign language interpretersUPDATED 7:35 PM HST May 07, 2014Video Transcript
It's stressful enough being sick or injured ... Now imagine not being able to communicate with the doctor trying to help you! Advocates say more and more hearing impaired people are running into that very situation in Hawaii... It's not only frustrating.. It could be dangerous! KITV4's Ohkawa shows us... The state's reminding doctors, having interpreters is NOT optional... 15-31 42-49 107-116 Linda Lambrecht says she's told time and time again...she needs to provide her OWN interpretor at hospitals and doctor offices. She's one of many hearing impaired or deaf patients who claim they do not get proper services. 2016 I REMEMBER ONE TIME I HAD TO GO TO THE DOCTORS OFFICE AND I THOUGHT WE COULD GO AHEAD AND COMMUNICATE WITH OUR THE INTERPRETOR BY WRITING BACK AND FORTH THE DOCTOR HAD SO MUCH TO SAY AND WHAT HE WROTE WAS TOO COMPLEX AND THE COMMUNICATION FAILED 32 And Communication CAN'T fail in emergency situations.. Francine Wai with the Disability Communication Access Board says now more than ever her office is getting flooded with complaints. Francine Wai- Disability Communication Access Board. 2623OUR OFFICE RECEIVES SO MANY CALLS ABOUT PROVIDING INTERPRETOR SERVICES AND LEGAL RIGHTS AND BY FAR THE MOST DIFFICULT SETTING IS A HEALTH CARE SETTING 34 Wai says there are not as many interpretors as the state should have... particularly on neighbor islands. And doctors may not know how to handle the cost of one. Senator Josh Green is an emergency room doctor. josh green senator 2347THERE ARE NUANCES IN THAT MOMENT IN A PERSONS EXPRESSION IN DESPERATION THAT CAN BE CONVEYED WITH HAVING SOMEONE RIGHT THERE56 He says from his experience... Some doctors may not realize they're obligated by law to provide a qualified sign language interpreter. josh green senator 2155 I THINK A LOT OF HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS DOCTORS IN PARTICULAR AREN'T AWARE THAT ITS A LAW THAT WE PROVIDE THESE SERVICES 2200 So state agencies created these two educational brochures for patients to bring to health care providers. Inside--- the rights of the hearing impaired are clearly defined. 2235 A NORMAL PHYSICIAN WILL SEE MORE THAN A HUNDRED PATIENTS A WEEK SO EVERY PHYSICIAN SHOULD LIKELY BE SEEING SOMEONE WHO HAS THIS NEED AND SERVICE REQUIREMENT 45 Nana Ohkawa KITV4 News. You can find more information on the brochures in the "as seen on" section of kitv dot com.