Free public Wi-Fi is now available to patients and visitors at Cowichan District Hospital.
The service is available at the hospital thanks to the Auxiliary to the Cowichan District Hospital and the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation who have fully funded this initiative.
In April, Lake Cowichan resident Sarah Gibson started a petition asking Island Health to introduce free public Wi-Fi for patients at the hospital.
Gibson, who has cystic fibrosis, found the financial burden of using her data plan while she’s in the hospital to stay connected with family, friends and her CF support group was an added stress.
“This is great news,” said Gibson.
“I would like to thank all of the foundations and auxiliaries who stepped up to fund this service. While staying connected through Wi-Fi may not be a medical service, I know from experience, that having those connections outside the hospital can really help in healing and recovery.”
A total of five hospitals on the Island introduced public Wi-Fi this month.
They include Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Lady Minto Hospital and West Coast General Hospital.
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.
“I would like to thank Sarah for creating awareness on the benefits of publicly-accessible Wi-Fi at hospitals,” said B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix.
“Her efforts led us to develop a creative solution to provide free Wi-Fi at Cowichan District Hospital. There are many critically important demands in our health-care system. However, when we engage our auxiliaries and foundations, we can deliver on patient-centric amenities like Wi-Fi that enhance medical services and programs and help patients stay more connected.”
CDH Auxiliary president Susan Leslie said the organization is thrilled to be bringing public Wi-Fi to patients and visitors at the CDH.
“We know how important a strong support network is for people who are in hospital,” she said.
“Having internet access can help patients feel less isolated and more connected to their loved ones.”