Hospitals – Communication


Telehealth is a communication system that allows people to talk to their health care provider by video. Calls can be made from participating hospitals (mostly public hospitals, as well as some private hospitals; please refer to ”Services include” for each hospital on our List), health clinics etc, but also from home if there is a good internet coverage and a suitable computer, tablet or phone with a web camera, speakers/headphones and a microphone.

Telehealth is mostly used by people who live in regional areas, but may also be beneficial to people who can’t or have difficulties to leave their home.

Services available via Telehealth, and especially relevant to the elderly, can include:
– Aged care
– Palliative care

More information is available at: (includes a full list of services)
– The websites of participating hospitals (in the menu of the hospital’s website, search for ‘Telehealth’, ‘Video call’, ‘Virtual outpatient appointments’, or ‘Virtual care’)


All Western Australia public hospital patients have the right to been given information about their condition in a language they understand. A patient who needs help in talking to health professionals, who are responsible for his or her health care, can request a professional interpreter.

Friends or family should only be used in an emergency, and people under 18 years of age should never be used as interpreters under any circumstances.

TIS National (phone 13 14 50) is an interpreting service from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. Its interpreters can speak in more than 150 languages over the phone, via video conference, or may attend an appointment in person. The interpreting service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year for people with limited or no English language proficiency.

Generally, the organisation you are contacting will accept the charges for the service. For more information, refer to TIS pricing.

A male or female interpreter may be requested in sensitive or gender-specific interpreting assignments, such as dealing with urinary or gynaecological matters.

Professional interpreter services can also be provided or arranged by many public and private hospitals (please refer to ”Services include” for each hospital on our List). Note that these often need to be scheduled-in when you book your appointment (refer to the websites of participating hospitals).

Cue & communication cards

Language identification
Foreign (non-English) languages can be identified by using these tools fro Queensland Health:
Language identification card
Language & country list

Cue Cards
Cue Cards contain many images and can be used to communicate simple topics. They have been developed by Eastern Health, Diversity and Inclusion (Victoria) to assist healthcare professionals and clients/carers who have English language difficulties or problems communicating with each other.

Communcation Cards
Communication Cards from the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing (Victoria) have the same purpose. They contain images which show a wide range of daily activities and situations.

Pain rating scales

Difficulties in rating pain levels can hinder effective treatment. The British Pain Society has produced a series of pain scales in multiple languages to assist patients, for whom English is not their first language, in communicating with healthcare professionals.

Alerting medical staff – Aishwarya’s CARE Call

Generally, you know yourself or the person you care for best. You need to tell someone if you or your loved one gets sicker while in hospital, so hospital staff can listen to you.

The Aishwarya’s CARE Call is a 3-step process for patients, carers and family members to use if they are worried. Please note that for step 3 (making an urgent phone call), each hospital may use a different phone number. Hospitals’ websites provide further information.

Translated flyers from the Western Australian Department of Health about the Aishwarya’s CARE Call can be accessed here and on some hospitals’ websites.

Translated information

Information about general health topics can be accessed via these links:
Choosing Wisely Australia – 5 questions
Health Translations Library (Victorian Government of Australia)