How NSW Health Is Using Video Translation

How NSW Health Is Using Video Translation To Empower Occupational Therapists

One major challenge in diverse societies is the provision of healthcare services.

In western Sydney, this problem is directly tackled by the South-West Sydney Local Health District, which sits under New South Wales Health.

Ok - so obviously this is complicated stuff. But how does video translation help?

If you don't speak good English, specifically business English, finding information is very hard. The doctor is the only resource who can help, but what happens when they don't speak your language?

In this post, we look at how SWSLHD is trying to empower occupational therapists (OT’s) who work with developmentally challenged children.

It should be noted that the point of spending the money on these videos is the very long life they are expected to have - learn more about the ROI implications of video content here.

How To Reduce The Workload On Front Line Staff

Doctors, nurses and medical professionals are clearly very busy people.

And have gotten busier (!) due to Covid-19.

But the majority of work is around interfacing with parents.

Imagine you don't speak good English. You can get by, but that is kind of it. Now your child is sick. But your doctor does not know your language. Where do you get information from?

The simple answer is you spend time with doctors and nurses trying to get your concerns addressed in broken English.

But this is frustrating, and hard. And how do you know if you’re understanding is correct?

For SWSLHD, this is an enormously wasteful exercise in time (for front line staff) and money (for NSW Health), and introduces substantial risk to boot.

There must be a better way.

Getting Resources Into The Hands Of Front Line Staff

The specific test case SWSLHD was looking at was Occupational Therapists (OT’s) who were working with young mum's whose children have developmental difficulties.

Specifically, how to get information to the family unit - because if you can get the family to incorporate behavioural changes - that is the win, but across multiple languages.

The idea is to get information in different languages to the community - this allows families to educate themselves about the challenges, thus making time spent with doctors/nurses far more effective.

This is what the original English video is - OT’s show it to mum’s in the clinic.

How To Hold A Pencil - English

Online Resources To Help Patients Using Video Translation - Arabic

This is the same video in Arabic.

How To Hold A Pencil - Arabic

Online Resources To Help Patients Using Video Translation - Vietnamese

This is the same video in Vietnamese.

How To Hold A Pencil - Vietnamese


We’d like to thank the staff at SWSLHD for being super easy to work with, and generally for the life altering work they do - you guys rock!

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