New Wi-Fi connects TGH patients and visitors

Patients and visitors at Tofino General Hospital can stay connected via free Wi-Fi, a new service supported by the Tofino General Hospital Foundation. 

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 April 15.

“We’re really happy to support this service at the hospital,” said Arlene McGinnis, Chair of the Tofino General Hospital Foundation.  “Many people rely on Wi-Fi and when they’re confined to a hospital room it’s important to be able to stay connected.”

The Foundation has committed to pay the operating cost for public Wi-Fi, estimated to be up to $1,300 per year. Island Health will provide the service within the hospital’s existing Wi-Fi system, without adding any new wireless signals or access points.

“Tofino General Hospital is a small rural site and many of our patients and visitors have to travel some distance to be here,” said Michelle Hanna, TGH Site Director. “Having Wi-Fi will help them stay connected to their family and friends at home.”

TGH is the latest Island Health facility to launch free public Wi-Fi. In 2018, with the support of their local Foundations or Auxiliaries, Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Cowichan District Hospital, Lady Minto Hospital, West Coast General Hospital and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital were all able to begin offering this service. The North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and the Comox Valley included Wi-Fi when they opened in 2017.

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Cheryl Bloxham