As many of the health tourists are not very fluent in English or Thai, leading hospitals provide translators to ensure effective communication between patients and hospital staff. Hospitals like Bumrungrad, Samitivej, and Bangkok Hospital provide translators in various languages like Arabic, Bengali, Myanmar, Khmer, and Japanese.
According to Kyawtandraswen who has been working in Bumrungrad Hospital since 2008, the demand for Myanmar translators is being fulfilled as more and more Myanmar students come to study in Thai universities. The hospital has hired 28 Myanmar translators who handle about 380 cases a day
Andra enjoys her work but confesses that it is difficult to understand medical terms and translate them in Myanmar language initially but with time she got fluent. She further mentioned she got great help from the workshops held by the hospital for the staff.
Andra further stated: “we start attending the patient as soon as they enter hospital which includes guiding them as they go meet the doctor, assisting them to find a place to stay or go out.
At Bangkok Hospital, more patients are coming from Cambodia mainly because Cambodians want to see the doctors who have gained recognition in their country. Doctors see around 30 to 40 Cambodian cases a day. Although some of them do understand English and doesn’t require translators, the hospital has 8 translators ready to help the patients
Samitivej Hosptial, Sukhumvit, situated in an area accommodating a large Japanese community, is the leading hospital for the Japanese. The hospital started its Japanese language service in 1997 and has now inaugurated a completely developed Japanese Hospital as part of its complex. Samitivej is considered as the biggest Japanese Hospital in Asia (outside Japan). It recently has 30 full-time and 24 part-time Japanese translators.