Back in March I posted on how invaluable translation services are to both patients and staff in the NHS.
Dr Crippen warns us that Ruth Kelly may become the new Health Secretary.
She is already making clear her views on translation services provided by the state (and see the interview here) - it appears that she feels they should only be available to A & E departments. Otherwise it is a discouragement to learn English!
As stated above it is not only the patients who benefit, its the doctors and nurses - if a patient cannot communicate what s/he is feeling, what medicine s/he is taking etc, then the chances of mis-diagnosis, wrong treatments increase enormously. And then we patients will sue when something goes wrong, what's the doctor's defence? The patient doesn't speak English so it's not my fault!
Heaven forbid she becomes Health Secretary!