In California, Health Care is Often Lost for Lack of Translation

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. – When Khanh Trong Vu, 85, went to Summit Medical Center here with sharp abdominal pains three years ago, doctors and nurses there couldn’t understand what he was trying to tell them in his native Vietnamese. So in desperation he called a Vietnamese friend, Phuong Hang Phi Duong, to interpret for him.

A series of blood tests later, he was quickly wheeled into surgery to remove an inflamed appendix.