Following a petition started by a patient back in April pledging need to stay connected with friends and family while in hospital, Victoria General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital have now made free Wi-Fi available to both patients and visitors. According to Victoria News, the service was made available Sept. 6 with financial support from local hospital auxiliaries.
Lake Cowichan resident Sarah Gibson started a petition earlier this year asking Island Health to provide free access to wireless internet for patients. Using the wireless network “IslandHealthGuest” patients and visitors can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi for basic internet browsing, although high-definition video streaming has been blocked.
The source notes that at least three more Island hospitals are now wired for public access to Wi-Fi including Cowichan District Hospital, West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni and Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island.
Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s public Wi-Fi launched in June and the North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and Comox included Wi-Fi when they opened in 2017.
“We have heard from patients that the financial burden of using their data plans to communicate with family and friends can add to an already stressful situation,” said Val Cerini Smith, VGH auxiliary president. “This service will help them feel less isolated while they are receiving care.”
There’s no word yet when Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton will also gain free public Wi-Fi.