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

Federal Green Party reps in Chilliwack ready for their AGM

Deputy Leader Jonina Campbell of the BC Greens will be the keynote speaker on Feb. 27

Sarah Wark and Team B.C. lose to Northern Ontario at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

It was the second straight heartbreaking defeat for Wark after a promising 3-0 start.

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

UPDATE: Chilliwack man arrested for Agassiz break and enters

Westin Ferguson, 19, faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Slide show: Baby Yoga at the Sardis Library in Chilliwack

Some babies were so Zen, they fell asleep

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

Abbotsford man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Bad weather halts search for missing B.C. snowshoer until at least Wednesday

The rescuers were able to rescue the missing man’s friend

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

Most Read