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At the beginning of 2007 the Andalucian Regional Health services began to offer a special interpreter service via mobile telephone. The service works by providing administrative staff and doctors with mobile telephones that connect them with a call centre staffed by interpreters.
English is available 24 hours a day along with Romanian, French, German, Arabic, Bulgarian, Russian and Ukrainian. From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. a total of 32 languages are on offer through this service.
During the initial six months of operation in 2007 health officials learned that Arabic interpreters were most in demand followed by English and Romanian and finally Chinese. There are plans to offer Chinese interpreters 24 hours a day.
As of mid-2007 the service was only available in the following centres - with plans to expand as needed:
Hospital de Poniente de El Ejido
Hospital de Alta Resolución de El Toyo
Hospital de Torrecárdenas
Health Centres throughout the Almeria Health District
Hospital Puerta del Mar
el Hospital de Especialidades de Jerez
el Punta de Europa de Algeciras
Health Centres throughout the "South Area" district and the Granada Health District
Hospital de Riotinto
The Regional Carlos Haya Hospital
Hospital Virgen de la Victoria
Hospital de la Axarquía.
Hospital Virgen del Rocío
Hospital Virgen Macarena de Sevilla
Centres throughout the Seville Health District