Free Interpreting Service temporarily extended to cover non-Medicare patients receiving their COVID-19 vaccine

Close up of a woman's face talking on the phone.
  4 October 2022  Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

The Free Interpreting Service (FIS) is provided by the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on behalf of the Australian Government.

It aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency. For people who do not speak English well or at all, translating or interpreting services are essential in situations where informed consent is required.

It is quick and simple for service providers to register with TIS National and providers can be connected to a phone interpreter within a few minutes. For eligible service providers, free telephone interpreting services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Medical practitioners (including nurses, reception and other practice support staff), pharmacies and a number of other groups can access FIS to provide services to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare.

Register online at

Additionally, since 2021, FIS has been temporarily extended to cover non-Medicare patients receiving their COVID-19 vaccine. Medical practices and pharmacies can use their existing TIS client code to request interpreters for both their Medicare and non-Medicare patients.

Services and bookings

Aside from the immediate telephone interpreter service, a telephone-based interpreter can also be pre-booked in advance for more complex/sensitive assignments.

Medical practices can also book onsite interpreters on weekends (in addition to weekdays) for COVID-19 vaccination purposes. To do so, please contact

To support telehealth consultations, TIS National offers a video remote interpreting service. Medical practitioners can book an interpreter to assist with patient consultations taking place on most third-party video conferencing platforms, such as healthdirect Video Call, Skype, and Zoom.


The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care’s Vulnerable Vaccination Team have compiled the following resources for healthcare staff and professionals.

For more information on FIS please visit the TIS National website. If you have any queries please contact the FIS Team on 1300 575 847 or email

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.