Assembly Committee To Consider Bill To Ban Use of Children as Interpreters
The Assembly Business and Professions Committee next week will vote on a bill (AB 292) that would prohibit the use of children as interpreters for state-funded groups that provide medical, legal or social services except in emergencies, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports. Under the legislation, introduced in February by Assembly member Leland Yee (D-San Francisco), Medi-Cal physicians, women's shelters and county social service agencies and other groups would have to ask adult family members to translate or use translators from professional interpreter services, volunteer interpreter services or community groups; those that use children as interpreters could lose state funds. Yee said that the use of children as interpreters can result in a "less-than-accurate" interpretation of medical advice, the AP/Times reports. However, Heather Campbell, a lobbyist for the California Medical Association, said that the legislation could result in access problems for Medi-Cal beneficiaries in rural areas because the program will not reimburse physicians for the cost of an interpreter. "It will probably stop physicians from taking patients who bring in a child as an interpreter," she said (Coleman, AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.