Translator and doctor on patient bed
Service &… Interpreters

Quality through certified interpreters

Clear communication between patient and medical staff is very important for the success of any treatment. The Heidelberg University Hospital has certified interpreters in order to provide the best support for our patients. Interpreters with a successful certification means they have qualified linguistic skills, participate in regular medical trainings and are exclusively entitled to interpret medical dialogs. Physicians and most nurses of the Hospital are also fluent in English and are able to directly communicate in English.

Should patients not be proficient in the German or English language, it is important that an interpreter certified by Heidelberg University Hospital is hired in time by the patient for any required doctor’s consultations before treatment begins.

Interpreters who are actively certified at Heidelberg University Hospital are freelancers or employed with service providers and they bill their services directly to the patient. Within the scope of their certification, the interpreters have also disclosed their list of prices and services to Heidelberg University Hospital. Market rates for medical interpreting of common languages amount to approx. 55,- to 85,- euros/hour.

Please contact the International Office: Inquiry and Case Management Team if you are interested in hiring an interpreter.

The language I am looking for is not listed in the certified interpreters list. How can I find a certified interpreter fluent in the language I am looking for?

If an interpreter fluent in your language is not listed, then please contact a translation office which can be searched for online.  

My partner, friend, and/or family member speaks fluent German and/or English. Can he/she be my interpreter during my appointment? Does he/she have to be a certified interpreter?

A certified interpreter is recommended. If your partner, friend, and/or family member speaks fluent German and/or English and you are confident in his/her ability to interpret medical information, then you can decide if you would like him/her to act as your interpreter. However, be aware that you are taking a risk that not all medical information may be interpreted correctly. For this reason, a certified interpreter is recommended. 

I am an interpreter and would like to become certified with Heidelberg University Hospital. How do I know if I am eligible and what qualifications do I need to become certified?

  • Before the admission process for certification can take place, the applicant must provide proof of assistance with patient care at the hospital. This is usually provided by having written confirmation from the patient and the care unit.
  • A successful passing of a one-time oral language test is required. Interpreters who have completed an education in language, can present their certificate of degree. For these interpreters, a language test is not required.
  • Attend at least two medical short courses per year (excluding physicians/dentists/pharmacists/ and medical students with at least a physics and additional clinical semester).
  • Attend a short training on legal requirements and hospital procedures.   
  • A written declaration by the interpreter that he / she adheres to the university hospital's house rules, the instructions of the medical staff, the applicable data protection regulations and the requirements for implementing the case administration of the International Office.
  • Annual presentation of price and service overview of all non-medical services that are provided and billed for self-paying patients from abroad.

If participation is successful, then the interpreter will receive an identification card active for two years, which must be carried by the interpreters.

  • Inquiry and Case Management

    Phone: +49 6221 56-6243
    Fax: +49 6221 56-33955


    Interested in becoming a certified interpreter?
    Tel. +49 6221 56-6797