What languages are spoken at Magenta Health?

We're frequently asked what languages our physicians are able to speak.

Unfortunately, this is a complicated question for reasons such as the following:

  • many times, family doctors may have some ability to carry on a conversation in languages other than English, but not have sufficient fluency to competently discuss complex medical issues.   For example, ordering dim sum in Cantonese is quite different from discussing the nuances of diabetes.
  • even where there is some verbal fluency for a particular language, doctors may have no ability to read or write in these languages.
  • there may not be an overlap between the language(s) that our physicians speak, and the language(s) that our clinic administrative staff speak.  For example, even if a patient were able to communicate with a physician in French, clinic administrative staff might not share this ability.

For this reason, in general, we advise as follows:

  • our official policy is that all care provided at Magenta Health is provided only in English;
  • some of our physicians have a very limited capability to verbally communicate in the following languages (current as of 2015.04.06):
    • Cantonese
  • if a patient does not speak English, and already has a family doctor/clinic that they are able to communicate well with in another language, we strongly recommend that he or she not transfer to Magenta Health - our view is that communication is an integral part of family medicine;
  • if a patient with limited English ability wishes to register with Magenta Health:
    • please be aware that a delegate/translator may be required to help facilitate booking appointments, online correspondence, and in-person appointments; and
    • indicate what language(s) the patient does speak fluently when registering so that we can attempt to pair such patients with an appropriate physician.