Medical interpreting as an emerging profession in Hong Kong

Ester S M LEUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Medical Interpreting (MI) as a profession is a recent development and has previously been implemented in Hong Kong (HK) on an ad hoc basis. The roles that medical interpreters play in providing ethnic minorities with equal access to public health services in Hong Kong is informally widely recognised, yet hardly discussed in either the academic or public arenas. In 2010, the Hospital Authority outsourced its medical interpreting services to social services institutions that developed their own methods for meeting the growing demand for medical interpreting services. This provided a research opportunity, which adopted a participatory action approach to developing medical interpreting training materials and courses that involved different stakeholders such as the service providers and the ethnic minority interpreters themselves. Using Schuster's (2013) systematic sociological model of the five transitional stages of language access in the public sector, this chapter focuses on the emergence and development of the profession of medical interpreting in Hong Kong, before turning to a description of the training programme that was developed utilising materials based on real-life situations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterpreting in Legal and Healthcare Settings
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives on research and training
EditorsEva N.S. Ng, Ineke H.M. Crezee
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789027261472
ISBN (Print)9789027205049
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameBenjamins Translation Library
ISSN (Print)0929-7316

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

User-Defined Keywords

  • Interpreting
  • Medical
  • Professionalisation


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