An evaluation of a community health interpreter pilot scheme in two public hospitals in Cape Town SA
This mini thesis describes the evaluation of the work of Community Health Interpreters (CHIs) in two Cape Town public hospitals, Its aim is to ascertain whether the introduction of interpreters in public hospitals led to an improvement in communication between health providers and their non-English and non-Afrikaans speaking Xhosa patients and whether this led to improved patient satisfaction, efficiency, improved usuality of treatment and improved hospital accessibility. A number of test cases internationally has shown that the introduction of trained health interpreters within the hospital context improves communication between health providers and their patients leading to patient contentment. This qualitative study with a limited quantitative aspect was carried out to assess the perceptions of patients, health professionals and the health interpreters themselves about the work of the interpreters. One hundred (100) )Xhosa speaking patients and guardians were interviewed using an interview schedule, fifty (50) from Hospital A and fifty (50) from Hospital B. Fifty (50) health professionals were given self-administered questionnaires, twenty-five (25) were delivered in each hospital. Three (3) interpreters were interviewed at hospital A and two (2) interpreters were interviewed at hospital B using an interview schedule.