- Busan announced its victory of a grand prize for its interpretation services available at public medical institutions. The win came at the Best Practice Competition for Local Government Support for Foreign Residents.
○ The competition was held at Government Complex Sejong on the 21st, after the final eight practices were selected through initial expert screening and a second online screening by citizens. The selections were made among 39 excellent practices of support for foreign residents from 17 large cities and provinces and 229 municipalities, guns, and gus nationwide.
- Busan presented its foreign interpretation services available at a public medical facility and won the grand prize: a special grant of KRW 100 million that will be offered from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
○ The city’s winning interpretation service is operated by the Busan Foreign Residents Center, a private institution commissioned by Busan. It is a service of 66 foreign residents from 15 countries to provide translations for those in need of medical assistance at the Busan Medical Center. Six language interpretation services are available throughout the week from 09:00 to 17:00 (one language on a specific day of the week, respectively).
○ The supported languages for interpreters stationed at the Busan Medical Center are Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Filipino, English, and Korean. Interpretation services are available withoutneeding a reservation. As a result of this award-winning feature, foreign residents can more easily and conveniently access medical help.
- Other interpretation services are also provided by the city of Busan through reservations other than the abovementioned interpretation services. The foreign interpreters offer interpretation services on the basis of reservations, and they are called to the medical institutions whenever reservations are made.
○ The services support 16 languages. Starting with the interpretation services at six medical institutions in 2012, the services are currently provided at all medical institutions in Busan.
- Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, said, “Overcoming language barriers in hospitals is essential for foreign residents. That need was critical for the service winning the top prize.” He added, “Busan must be a place where both Koreans and its 75,000 foreigners alike can live comfortably. No one should be inconvenienced when seeking medical aid, and that’s where the city’s medical interpretation system comes in.”
* Website of Busan Foreign Residents Center: http://bfwc.or.kr/