Translation Costs rise at MidCentral District Health Board in New Zealand

Last Updated On: June 19, 2017

inTranslation News

Rise in Translation Costs
It is interesting to note that while some professional translation services are worrying themselves over the volume of work they may see in the future with the rise in machine translations the demand for translation services in New Zealand in some places has risen threefold and is costing institutions like the Mid Central District Health Board in the North Island of New Zealand three times more as a result. This is because the increases in migration have brought people originating from more diverse language groups into the area.

The DHB spending in 2014 to 2015 reached NZ$84,245 which beat the last 2 years of spending with amounts of NZ$52,095 and NZ$26,125 in those periods.


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MidCentral has currently in place contracts with 3 different translation businesses which includes translations into sign language.

It can’t be over-emphasised the importance of translation accuracy when it comes to ensuring patient safety in medical situations and Muriel Hancock, who is the director of Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness reported that in the last 12 months the highest number of interactions via the phone involving translations were in the Nepalese language. This was through the use of the Language Line facility.

MidCentral DHB also makes use of the Burmese/ Bhutanese Society and the Palmerston North translation company, Interpreter Services Ltd. The director of the company Michelle Hughes stated that the professional translation services they offered included 30 languages with 60 interpreters.

Manuwatu is home to 500 Nepalese. Even though they are taught English providing interpretation and translation services speeds up counselling and doctors’ appointments.

Hughes said they also provided interpreting services for Central Public Health, for general doctor’s appointments and counselling.

Fortunately, for the Nepalese community, translation and interpretation services make up an important part of meeting their needs and no expense is spared when it comes to the cost. Meriam Findlay, President of the Multicultural Council of Manuwatu sees it as normal meeting these needs. Cantonese and Mandarin experience almost the same demand as Nepalese in the Manuwatu area while Dari the Afghan language is also in demand too.

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