B.C. woman petitioning for free Wi-Fi in Canadian hospitals

Some hospitals in the province already offer the service, but most of them do not

A petition is being circulated by a Vancouver Island woman in an effort to get free (or reasonably priced) Wi-Fi access in Canadian hospitals.

While some hospitals do offer the service, most do not.

A medical condition has forced Cowichan Valley resident Sarah Gibson in and out of hospital on a regular basis, sometimes for more than two weeks at a time.

“When I lived in Victoria it was frustrating not to have any internet access, but after getting married and moving to Lake Cowichan it became much more annoying since my husband needed to work where there was internet access. So he would have to drive back and forth a lot,” she explained.

With family and friends only able to visit for short periods of time, isolation quickly set in for Gibson.

“I have been in the hospital and bought the TV but it still doesn’t help in the lack of connection you can feel while you are in there for weeks at a time,” she said. “I bring many bags of things to keep me amused, from books to crafts; When you are in there for two weeks minimum it is hard to feel like you are being productive.”

And she’s not alone. There are other reasons for both patients and visitors to stay connected, too.

“I have spent a lot of time in hospital as one cannot leave the elderly there without a constant advocate. (It) would be great to communicate with family, stay in touch with work and friends, and for entertainment,” said one anonymous signer of the petition.

“I am a frequent hospital patient for lung infections related to my Cystic Fibrosis. Free Wi-Fi will help me to recover and allow me to keep up with work, family and my cystic fibrosis support group when I need them most,” wrote petitioner Katelyn Giffin.

“This is essential for quality care in modern times. Keeps families connected,” added Josée Laroche.

Thus far the Free Internet For Canadian Hospitals petition has raised a few hundred signatures towards the 5,000 goal.

Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton said Island Health now provides wireless internet for the public and staff at the new North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley.

“Our goal is to expand public and staff Wi-Fi to other facilities in the future as opportunity and finances allow,” Burton said.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Sarah Gibson wants free (or inexpensive) Wi-Fi in Canadian hospitals. (Submitted)

Just Posted

Port Alberni RCMP recover stolen tool chest

Police still searching for the rightful owner

Kuu-us Crisis Service celebrates 25th anniversary

Port Alberni-based business sets sights on national realm

Vehicle fire extinguished near Cathedral Grove

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

McLean Mill’s steam engine done for the season

McLean Mill Society to consult with community about future of steam

Great Central Lake resort owners jump in to fight nearby wildfire

Marleys put repurposed firetruck to good use during B.C. Day fire

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read