Lifting the language barrier

Language barrier

The UK remains a popular destination for international patients seeking expert private healthcare. Dr Rachel Birch outlines steps to minimise the risks in treating patients whose first language is not English.

Every year, thousands of patients visit the UK seeking healthcare. Overseas patients form, on average, 2.8% of private hospitals revenues.

Medical tourism is not new; cases date back thousands of years to when patients trekked from all corners of the Mediterranean to consult the healing god Asklepios in Epidaurus, a city in ancient Greece.

International patients often seek healthcare in a country where they don’t speak the language, so it is important to consider the possible risks and take steps to make the patient’s care as safe as possible.

Reducing the risks