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

Woss man attacked by black bear on remote logging road

“we are just monitoring the situation now”

Port McNeill Mayor Gaby Wickstrom wants to see previous cuts to public libraries reversed

The Ministry of Education has, over 10 years, reduced provincial library funding by $6 million.

Mountie says his good-byes to North Island Indigenous communities after years of demonstrating reconciliation between RCMP and First Nations

“It’s very humbling that you hear your name used in the community about good work that is being done”

UPDATED: New law centre serving B.C. region with highest rates of kids in care

Many cases reflect conditions of poverty, says Parents Legal Centre

OPINION: Port Alice needs a paradigm shift

“If we want work in Port Alice, we need to get to work”

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

Most Read