According to researchers, at least £23million is spent on thousands of translators across NHS authorities in England and Wales every year in a bid to communicate with patients who cannot understand English according to 2020health.org.
Translation is provided for free at the point of delivery and – according to the NHS – must be of a "high quality, accessible and responsive to a patient’s linguistic and cultural identity".
Among the most popular languages are Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Lithuanian, Nepalese, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Urdu.
Translation services cost the NHS more than £23m a year
Rules stipulate that patients must not be asked to pay for interpreting services and that they are entitled to "verbal and written language interpretation services" for 128 spoken languages.
Hundreds of face-to-face interpreters are drafted into hospitals, medical centres, and doctors’ surgeries each year.
And telephone interpretation service is provided for non-urgent standard consultations or appointments.
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An NHS report revealed: "This service is for patients with English language difficulties who require an Interpreter to communicate with staff on their hospital consultations or appointments.”
However, the rising costs of the service as well as health tourism are leading to serious funding shortages, warn critics.
Use of the NHS by those who travel to the country specifically to receive free treatment is estimated to be between £110million and £280million a year.
UKIP MEP Mike Hookem said it is a "travesty" the NHS is now spending millions of pounds in taxpayers’ money on translation services saying, "its the national, not international health service."
Mr Hookem said: “At a time when budgets are stretched to the limit and we have charities saying we have a potential 'humanitarian crisis' in the NHS, it seems utterly ridiculous that we are wasting millions each year on providing translation in 82 different languages."
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"It is especially ridiculous when we are also currently giving away £12billion a year on foreign aid, much of which could be re-directed in the NHS.
"It is time the traditional parties got a grip of this situation and realised the level of public anger at what is seen the waste of public money both in foreign aid and in the NHS.
"We are one of the only countries in the world that spend millions on translation in this way and while it has limited benefit for a small minority of people, the cost totally outweighs the benefit.
"It is time we got back to the principle of charity beginning at home, redirected some of the International aid budget towards the crisis in social care and stopped trying to play nurse to the world."