West-central Montreal’s CIUSSS is calling on a Toronto organization that offers a virtual service of interpreters who only translate the words of allophone patients into English, we’ve learned. destiny. Interpreters working in French at Quebec’s public health network denounced the practice, saying it would take work away from them.
“We were told that this is because others have lower prices, but interpreters on these platforms do not provide the same quality of service. And that’s only in English! » Anna, who keeps her identity confidential for fear of losing contracts.
CIUSSS West-Central Montreal currently ensures that the Voyce multilingual interpretation service is deployed in its CLSCs, its “intramural” family medicine groups, and the regional reception program and integration of asylum seekers. The pilot project was successful, indicating establishment.
“We chose Voyce because of the quality of service, the quick access to the service and its low cost,” said CIUSSS spokesman Carl Theriault, who noted that his health institution is “one of the most multicultural regions in Canada,” where 82 languages are spoken.
Healthcare organizations that do business with Voyce Canada receive a free tablet that allows them to contact a specially trained healthcare interpreter in just seconds. At a cost of one dollar per minute, the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is offered in more than 240 languages.
In an interview at fate, Andrew Royce, the company’s president and CEO, points out that interpretation services offered in Quebec are currently only in English, but pilot projects for services in French are being conducted with other organizations, health is coming to light.
“I’m very happy that the interpretations are going to be implemented in French soon,” said Mr. Royce, who noted that he lived in Quebec for several years to study at McGill University. He emphasized that his company cares about respecting patient privacy.
Several interpreters who are part of the Interregional Bank of Interpreters (BII) administered by the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal have condemned the use of Voyce.
Chiara, an interpreter who remains anonymous to protect her career, said CLSC de Parc-Extension called her a few weeks later to inform her that her interpreting mandate was being terminated. “A nurse booked me in and eventually said she didn’t need me, they were going to start using Voyce eventually. »
Anna, for her part, believes she is losing deals with the Voice. “I had many meetings, for example with CLSC de Parc-Extension. But now it’s zero,” she said. “We wonder how we’re going to pay the rent. » The situation shocks Anna even more because, according to her, English should not take priority over French.
According to Maxime Laporte, president of the French Quebec movement, interpretations must always be from a foreign language into French, which is Quebec’s only official language. “I worry that if there is an interpretation from a third language in English, it goes against the fundamental principles of the charter of the French language,” the lawyer said.
Quebec does not know
The Department of Health and Social Services says it was unaware of the voice-only translation into English. This indicates that Ministerial guidelines for interpretation were sent to health organizations in 2018.
In a document presenting these guidelines, it is suggested that “where it is unlikely to have an interpreter on site and to avoid any interruption in service, the use of a remote interpreter would be an interesting option”. In addition to providing “greater availability,” this avenue allows for “rapid access to interpreters who specialize in uncommon languages,” it wrote.
CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal states that an emergency situation requires immediate interpretation, a service not provided by BII. Its spokesman, Jean-Nicolas Aube, pointed out that nothing obliges health institutions to use the nearly 325 interpreters from the BII.