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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Parking lot rally in support of Langley Lodge

“It’s important to let them know that we’re all thinking about them, and we’re here for them’

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Family of dead Abbotsford football star urge changes to mental health policies in hospitals

Uko family disappointed in actions of Regina hospital, hosting public funeral service this weekend

Langley daughter recalls last words spoken to mother who died of COVID-19 on 88th birthday

Verna Clarke was more than a senior with dementia who died of COVID at Langley Lodge, she was ‘loved’

Langley grads mark a milestone amid a pandemic

Many local schools are finding ways to celebrate Grade 12 students

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Langley Advance Times to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe BC over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Rob Vroom, died as a result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Sex offender Danny Depew sentenced in Abbotsford to 2.5 more years

Depew still has child-luring charges before the courts in Ontario

Most Read