Transcultural & Language Services (TALS)

For Patients and Visitors

What is the Service?

Northern Health aims to provide the best care possible to our migrant community. The language service department provides high quality services both in spoken and written language. It is important to us that you understand all the information given to you, and the services being offered. If you need help to access information in your language, speak to any member of staff.

TALS also provides access to sign language (AUSLAN) interpreting. 

Did you know?

  • The interpreting service is free of charge to Medicare eligible patients.
  • It is your right to request a professional interpreter.
  • Northern Health does not condone the use of family members or staff to act as interpreters unless in an emergency.
  • Children under the age of 18 cannot be used as interpreters.

The role of a professional interpreter

The role of the professional hospital interpreter is to bridge the communication gap between patients whose first language is not English and  clinicians.

A professional hospital interpreter has completed further studies, and is required to have advanced language skills, including knowledge of medical terminology and familiarity with common medical conditions.

Professional interpreters must adhere to the Interpreters and Translators Code of Ethics which requires them to:

  • Always be impartial
  • Keep everything that is being said confidential
  • Not take sides, add or omit information and only interpret what has been said

What is TALS?

TALS is the Transcultural and Language Services Department at Northern Health.  TALS helps Northern Health provide the best care for our migrant communities.

TALS plays works closely with other departments to help Northern Health provide equitable access to health care, including access to Australian sign language (AUSLAN) interpreters.

The department’s role is to support Northern Health to maintain culturally competent delivery of care practices by offering high quality language and training services such as:

  • Interpreting (speaking) services
  • Translation (written) of patient information
  • Targeted cultural training for staff members
  • Research and student education

Further Information:

Speak to any staff member assisting you and ask to speak with an interpreter or the TALS team.

Contact TALS via Email:

If you need an interpreter, please speak to a staff member, or call us via TIS on 131 450

For Health Professionals

Service Overview

The role of the Transcultural & Language Services Department (TALS) is to make Northern Health culturally competent by offering high quality language services comprising:

Professional interpreting
Translation of medical material
Transcultural training
Research & Education opportunities

TALS is also responsible for the development and implementation of the Northern Health Cultural Responsiveness Plan

Booking an Interpreter (Including Auslan: Australian Sign Language)

Northern health clinicians can call TALS on:

Extension number: 58188 or email: TALS Enquiries

All other Enquiries kindly email: TALS Enquiries