Take note of people's language preference

About two months ago, my sister who is in her 70s and understands only Chinese, underwent a health screening at a nursing home.

More recently, someone from a hospital called and spoke to her over the phone but she did not understand anything except for the word "hospital", as the caller spoke in English .

That alarmed her. After the caller hung up, she frantically asked me to call the hospital to find out what the caller said to her.

However, given that there are numerous departments, the task was quite frustrating and time consuming. It was not easy to get through to the hospital, resulting in more anxiety by my sister.

It would be helpful if medical institutions and government departments that deal directly with people take into account the language each person is able to converse in, so that people like my sister do not experience anxiety in such situations.

Seah Kian Chong