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Shared Health Language Access

Language Access Interpreter Services is a Shared Health program that provides professional, spoken-language interpretation for immigrant/refugee languages to all health service delivery organizations in Manitoba, 24/7/365. Interpreter services are available face-to-face and remotely (conference call, video conference) in over 30 languages from staff interpreters and over-the-phone in over 200 languages with an average connect time of less than 2-minutes (provided by an external contracted provider).

Accredited interpreter services help bridge language barriers between Health Care Providers and patients/clients/residents who do not share a common language. This can help to: 

  • Enhance patient safety.
  • Increase patient understanding and satisfaction.
  • Improve quality of care and ensure informed consent.
  • Improve accessibility.
  • Protect confidential patient information.
  • Build relationships between providers and patients.
  • Meet professional and legal obligations.

Language Access interpreters are Shared Health casual employees who:

  • Have passed interpreter language assessments.
  • Have successfully completed Language Access Interpreter Training (72 hrs).
  • Have successfully completed a criminal record check, a child abuse registry check, and an adult abuse registry check.
  • Have signed a confidentiality pledge regarding the Personal Health Information Act.
  • Perform their role in accordance with the Language Access Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice for Interpreters, including the principles of Accuracy, Confidentiality and Impartiality.

Professional Language Access Interpreters are:

  • Confidential
  • Accurate
  • Impartial
  • Respectful
  • Accountable

Requesting an interpreter

Service providers must request interpreters on behalf of their patients/clients when required. To request an interpreter, service providers may select one of the following submission methods:

Phone (24/7): Call Language Access Central Dispatch at 204-788-8585.

Fax (Mon-Fri, 08:00-16:00): Complete the Language Access Interpreter Request Form and fax it to 204-940-8650.

Email (Mon-Fri, 08:00-16:00): Complete the Language Access Interpreter Request Form and email to

Note: For interpretation in Indigenous languages or American Sign Language (ASL), call Language Access central dispatch at 204-788-8585 to be routed to the applicable department or agency that provides this service. Language Access partners with WRHA Indigenous Health, Kivilliq Inuit Services and the E-Quality Communication Centre of Excellence (ECCOE) for the provision of professional interpreter services for all language constituencies.


Language Access interpreter services are available to:

  • Shared Health sites/programs
  • CancerCare Manitoba
  • Interlake Eastern sites/programs
  • Northern Health Region sites/programs
  • Prairie Mountain Health sites/programs
  • Southern Health-Sante Sud sites/programs
  • WRHA sites/programs and WRHA-funded facilities
  • Fee-for-service physicians working in the Winnipeg Health Region

Language Access Interpreter Services are also available on a cost-recovery basis to other government departments as well as other organizations (e.g. MB Prosecutions, MB Child & Family Services, etc.).

Services Provided

  • Face-to-face (in-person) Interpretation – Language Access interpreter is in same room as service provider and patient/client/resident. A list of current in-person languages is available here.
  • Conference Call Interpretation – Remote interpretation of a telephone conversation between two or more people who do not speak a common language. Can be used to schedule appointments, follow up or check in with patients after an appointment, procedure, etc., or provide instructions prior to an appointment.
  • Video Conference – Language Access interpreter provides remote interpreter services via an online video conference platform selected by the requester (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
  • Message Relay – Language Access interpreter calls patient/client to relay information that has been provided by a third party, such as appointment details (e.g., name of service provider, appointment date, time, location, special instructions).
  • Reminder Call – Language Access interpreter calls patient/client two business days before scheduled appointment to remind them of appointment details (name of service provider, date/time, location and special instructions as applicable).
  • Over-the-phone (OTP) Interpretation – Interpreter from third party contracted vendor provides remote interpreter service over-the-phone as needed 24/7/365. OTP Interpretation is available in over 200 languages with an average connect time of less than 2 minutes.
  • Sight Translation – Language Access interpreter orally renders the content of a written document from a source language to a target language.


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