Hospital Staff Told to Stop Speaking in Foreign Language

A staff member at a rural Queensland hospital has been counselled after sending an “unauthorised” email to staff advising they would be referred to human resources if they spoke a language other than English at work.

An except of the email was provided to 9NEWS, which read: “Just a quick reminder that only English is to be spoken in the unit. I have received a few complaints lately about staff speaking in their own language in front of others.”

“This makes people feel paranoid and isolated and it is to stop immediately. If I get any other complaints the matter will be referred to HR.”

North West Hospital and Health Service Acting Chief executive Barbra Davies confirmed no such directive was issued.

“Senior management at Mount Isa Hospital has not issued any directive to staff to speak only English whilst on duty,” Ms Davies said.

Queensland Health staff will be issued a memo regarding the appropriate use of emails.

Hospital staff were told to stop speaking in a foreign language by an unauthorised email. (Google Maps)

The hospital at the centre of the controversy is one of the smallest in the state’s far west.

Queensland Health says there is no requirement for staff to speak only English among themselves at any health facilities.

The department has received no formal complaints from any staff, patients or visitors at Mount Isa Hospital about staff speaking foreign languages.