Beijing to launch foreign language signs in medical facilities

Beijing will launch bilingual signs in all public medical facilities and provide translation for emergency service calls, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning.

As the national center for international exchange, the city is aiming to improve its international language environment, with medical services seen as a key sector. In an effort to create a more favorable foreign language environment for foreigners to access medical services, Beijing will launch bilingual signs in public medical facilities for guidance, making appointments and other requirements.

In addition, the government will send consultant groups to pay regular visits to relative organizations, in a bid to promote the standardization of foreign language signs. The public will also be encouraged to report mistakes on bilingual signs in medical facilities.

In addition, the city plans to offer translations in emergency calls, such as 120, 999 and 12320, as well as to train more personnel to provide bilingual services in the medical service sector. Beijing 999 now is in cooperation with Beijing Language and Culture University to train telephone operators to answer emergency calls from foreigners.

Officials plan to further strengthen the building of talent pools with regard to medical services for foreigners, such as international exchanges and cooperation, academic meetings and so on. Based on the foreign language resources of colleges and universities and training institutions, the city will make efforts to improve the communication skills of medical staff to meet the surging demand from foreigners in Beijing.

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