Access to language interpreters will be given to nearly 400 hospitals across Japan to mitigate the language barrier. This is the result of the survey from Japan’s health ministry which reveals that around 53% of doctors and medical staff from participating medical institutions had difficulties communicating with foreign patients. The medical institutions that will participate can either have an actual medical translator using videophone systems or have a tablet with translation functions. Moreover, interpretation services and languages to be translated will be based on the hospital’s needs.

Under the framework, hospitals will be categorized into two–emergency and non-emergency hospital’s needs. Emergency hospitals, where severely ill patients are brought, will require high expertise in medical and language skills. The ministry will ask prefectural governments to select the participating hospitals based on comments made by concerned parties at council meetings. Selected hospitals will receive financial support from the ministry.