Rachel Solomon presented on  Having Interpreting Recognized as an Essential Healthcare Service
Rachel Solomon works with the Toronto LHIN, a regional district in Ontario charged with managing and planning for health care.  She shared about provision of interpreting services in the Toronto area.  One facet that she brought froward as a critical thing to consider is that as a population ages, it will require more need for interpreting services as studies have shown that seniors who are impacted by dementia may lose the ability to speak a second language.
More than 170 languages and dialects are spoken in Toronto, so even though Canada has two official languages, there is still a dramatic need for people who do not speak those two languages.
A good quote to help people realize the importance of having effective interpretation for doctors to be able to effectively treat their patients.

“It is more important to know ‘what sort of patient has a disease than to know what sort of disease a patient has.”  ~ Sir William Osler (via Barbara Starfield, The Hidden Inequity in Health Care)

The LHIN has collected studies that have showed that patients who receive care in their own language have better outcomes ~ both in terms of health and in terms of lower costs.  For example, there were less return visits to the Emergency department and shorter stays in hospital.
There was significant inequities in how things were working throughout the LHIN and so they decided to provide Bulk Services through a coordinated approach called Language Services Toronto.  The provide phone interpretations for many things, but need to look at when particular modes are appropriate.  Whether certain situations would be better to have face-to-face or video interpreters.  Her presentation focused more specifically on spoken languages, but their services includes signed language interpreters as well.
Panel:  Interpreting as an Essential Healthcare Service: Milestones Achieved and Challenges on the Road Ahead
Afternoon Panel ~ Tuesday