Public Health Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING LANGUAGE INTERPRETERS IN HOSPITALS.
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Public Health Committee
REASONS FOR BILL:
To require hospitals to provide language interpreter services for non-English speaking patients.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Representative Juan Candelaria, Chairman Of The Black and Puerto Rican Caucus:
As a State representative he strongly supports HB 5385 because he believes that being able to communicate within a hospital facility is critical because people's lives are at risk. The bill assures that patients understand the information provided to them from their caregiver, as well as patients having the ability to communicate and inform their caregivers of their problems and/or concerns.
Werner Oyanadel, Executive Director, Latin and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission(LPRAC):
Urges that HB 5385 is passed and noted that this has been a recommendation of LPRAC for several years as the bill would ensure that patients needing to communicate critical information with their treating doctors in hospitals in Connecticut can do so through available interpreters.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Yvette Bello, Executive Director of Latino Community Services:
She noted that data proves that HB 5385 is a good idea and added that not supporting it would cost Connecticut too much in lives and money. She proposed modifications under Sections 1, 2, 3 and 5 as noted below:
Under Section (1): I would add “Develop, annually review, and promote a policy on the provision of interpreter services to non-English-speaking patients”;
Under Section (2): I would eliminate [to the extent possible] and add “Ensure the availability of interpret services to patients whose primary language is spoken by a group comprising not less than five per cent of the population residing in the geographic area served by the hospital”;
Under Section (3): I recommend that “qualified” be defined to eliminate vagueness.
Section (5): Add- and the signage also has the contact information for the Federal Office of Civil Rights to submit any complaints or inquiry regarding this right
Marisa Gillio, Co-Chair, CTMHP Language Services: I encourage the committee to support HB 5385 in order to ensure that good healthcare in Connecticut will become the right to everyone and not the privilege of a few.
Ashley Bureau, Social Work major (senior) Southern Connecticut State University
Supports HB 5385 and would like the committee to vote favorably for the bill as anyone who has made our country their home should have the right to an interpreter in order to better their experience at our hospitals if they are non-English speakers.
Kathryn Howroyd, Interpreters and Translators, Inc.:
Supports the overall intent of HB 5385 and suggests that there needs to be a definition of qualified interpreters to enhance patients' outcomes, improve quality and reduce readmission rates.
Connecticut Hospital Association
Supporting HB 5385 demonstrates to Connecticut families our commitment to providing care they can count on.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Reported by: Tashika Russell
Date: March 25, 2014