Evaluation of the Medical Interpreter and Patient Guidance Training in the Migrant Health Services: The Case Study in Turkey


  • Şenel Tekin PhD, Asst. Prof., Ankara University, Vocational School of Health
  • Afsun Ezel Esatoğlu




Migrant, healthcare services, patient guide, training, Turkey.


Turkey is a country that embraces many migrants from Africa and the Middle East especially in the last 10 years due to its geopolitical position. The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey as of February 2019 is reported to be 3.644.342. In particular, benefiting from the most basic human rights such as nutrition, education and health of migrants is an issue given the importance by the Republic of Turkey. In this context, important cultural differences arise for the immigrants. Language is an important obstacle to access to health services, especially in Arabic speaking patients. In order to facilitate access to health services and to improve the quality, a project has been developed covering the training and employment of medical interpreters and patient guides by the Turkey’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. With this project, 960 medical translators were employed and trained 2016 to 2019. The research provides an evaluation covering the training phase of this project. In this context, the aim of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program. In the study, an interactive training program, including medical terminology, health sector organization of Turkey, communication skills and medical ethics was implemented to the bilingual interpreters and patient guides. Participants completed a 50-question pre-test and post-test designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Training was deemed successful as all participants scored higher on the post-test than the pre-test. The results obtained from the research include important lessons that guide the planning of similar trainings.