Interpretation Services

North York General Hospital (NYGH) serves a diverse community of over 400,000 residents in north central Toronto and beyond. 

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and celebrating our individual differences. These differences can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical and mental health, religious and other ideologies.  Tell us about your experience. We welcome feedback from patients, families and visitors about their visit to our hospital. Contact our Patient Experience Office at 416-756-6125 or email

Interpretation Services

The health needs of each patient and family we serve are influenced by their unique practices and traditions. More than 54% of residents living in north central Toronto do not use either of the official languages as their mother tongue. Our Interpretation Services are part of our Patient- and Family-Centred Care initiatives. North York General is committed to making the experience of patients and families the best it can be. One way we do that is to address communication barriers that exist in providing health care. Services NYGH offers include:

Face-to-Face Interpretation Services 

We recognize that one aspect of providing high quality care is being able to communicate effectively with patients and families from our diverse communities in their language. To facilitate this communication, Diversity Services offers face-to-face interpretation service to our physicians and staff. To arrange a professional interpreter, speak with your health care provider. 

Video Interpretation Services 

Available at the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency (General site) 
North York General Hospital has been offering a very well established interpretation system and has now added video interpretation in the Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency (General site, 4001 Leslie Street). 
Video interpretation in our Emergency Department provides face-to-face interpretation in real time for deaf patients and patients with hearing impairment. If you need interpretation services, please speak to your health care providers. 

Phone Interpretation Services 

What is phone interpretation?

Language should not be a barrier to receiving high quality health care. Phone interpretation services are offered through Language Services Toronto and provide people with limited English the ability to understand vital information and instructions about their health and to ask questions and convey their preferences. This helps patients take a more proactive role in their own health care, and helps to lessen the equity gap created when patients are unable to communicate with their health care providers. 

Phone interpretation offers patients and their families real-time interpretation support at every point of a hospital stay or clinic visit. Interpretation can be set up immediately on request, is available 24/7 and offers a wide range of languages, including rare languages. 

How does phone interpretation work? 

Once phone interpretation has been requested, the patient will be given a telephone handset and the health care provider will have a handset. The interpreter will be on the line helping to interpret the conversation in real time.

Where is phone interpretation available at North York General Hospital?

NYGH offers phone interpretation services in every department of our General site, Branson Ambulatory Care Centre and Seniors' Health Centre. The service offers immediate access to qualified interpreters in over 170 languages. Our phone interpretation services are part of North York General's commitment to Patient- and Family-Centred Care. Phone interpretation encourages the highest standard of language support delivered by specially trained interpreters and allows patients to communicate more effectively with physicians, nurses and other hospital staff.

If you require interpretation services while you are at NYGH, please advise your health care provider.