The patient's ability to use their own language has a significant impact on their experience of the treatment provided. Our goal is to provide specialist medical care in the patient's own language in Finnish or Swedish. Our bilingualism program supports this objective.
Treatment in your own language
Our goal is that the patient feels safe when using their mother tongue, Finnish or Swedish, in their care contacts. This requires our staff to be prepared to speak in these languages from first contact until the end of treatment.
Language and the patient's need to be understood affect patient safety. Ensuring linguistic rights is also a prerequisite for ensuring other rights, such as the patient's right of self-determination and the right of access to information.
Linguistic rights are laid down, for example, in the Finnish Constitution, the Health Care Act, the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients, and the Language Act.
As the country's largest provider of specialist medical care services, we have both the opportunity and the duty to lead the way.
In connection with the HUS strategy for 2020–2024, a new bilingualism program has been drawn up based on HUS's language program, which was started in 2007. The bilingualism program supports HUS values – Caring, Equality, and Pioneership.
With the new bilingualism program, we also want to be a pioneer in the provision of Swedish-language care and services in specialist medical care. The bilingualism program has been drawn up for two main target groups: patients who receive treatment and service in their own language in Finnish or Swedish, and staff providing care and services in these languages.
HUS has had language ambassadors since 2012. The most important task of our 120 language ambassadors is to inspire and encourage colleagues to also use the another domestic language with patients. Our goal is to have language ambassadors in every unit and hospital area. Language ambassadors act as promoters of the bilingualism program in practice and support their own unit in language matters.
The Minority-Language Committee monitors compliance with the language program in HUS and the minority-language working groups locally in their respective hospital areas. The main task of the language program steering group set up by the CEO of HUS is to promote, steer and coordinate the implementation of the bilingualism program in a way that increases patient safety.