Salt Spring Island – Free public Wi-Fi is now available to patients and visitors at Lady Minto Hospital thanks to financial support from the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary and Lady Minto Hospital Foundation.
In April 2018, Lake Cowichan resident, Sarah Gibson, started a petition asking Island Health to introduce free public Wi-Fi for patients. Gibson, who lives with 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.
Health Minister Adrian Dix: “I would like to thank Sarah for creating awareness on the benefits of publicly-accessible Wi-Fi at hospitals. Her efforts led us to develop a creative solution to provide free Wi-Fi at Lady Minto 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.”
Island Health patient Sarah Gibson: “This is great news! 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.”
Patients and visitors can access the new service by searching for and connecting to the wireless network “IslandHealthGuest”. Free public Wi-Fi will support basic internet browsing, but not the large bandwidths associated with high-definition video streaming. The service began on September 6, 2018.
Lady Minto Auxiliary President Ann Muller: “The care and comfort of patients is our priority. The greatest comfort often comes from family, friends and support groups – especially in times of crisis. We hope that the introduction of public Wi-Fi will make patient stays a little more comfortable.”
Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Executive Administrator Diana Hayes: “We are thrilled to be bringing public Wi-Fi to patients and visitors at Lady Minto Hospital. We know how important a strong support network is for people who are in hospital, having internet access can help patients feel less isolated and more connected to their loved ones.”
A total of five Island Health hospitals introduced public Wi-Fi this month, with the support of their local foundations or auxiliaries; Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Cowichan District Hospital and West Coast General Hospital are the latest hospitals to offer this service. 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.
Island Health Board Chair Leah Hollins: “We are delighted to partner with our auxiliaries and foundations to provide basic public internet services. Having the costs of public Wi-Fi covered by our partners allows Island Health to continue to appropriately direct its resources to medical care while offering valued support to patients and guests.”
About Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary Society
The aim of the Lady Minto Hospital Auxiliary Society is to contribute to the comfort and welfare of the patients and residents of Lady Minto Hospital and other Southern Gulf Islands Health Care facilities.
About Lady Minto Foundation
The registered charity is dedicated to raising funds for capital projects and to supply equipment and services to the hospital on Salt Spring Island. The most recent Foundation campaigns include major renovations in a palliative care suite and pharmacy services, the laboratory accessioning room and a significant upgrade in the radiology department with the purchase of a new computed radiography system.
Island Health, one of six health jurisdictions in British Columbia, provides health care and support services to more than 767,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.