Hope resident Evan Empey visited a friend at the Fraser Canyon Hospital and found no form of entertainment to help that friend pass the time.
“In my friend’s room, there’s nothing,” said Empey, adding that they should have a TV, radio or Wi-Fi. “There’s not much to do except dwell on your problems.”
Empey said if that friend’s family brought him a laptop, he would not be able to do much because there was no Wi-Fi either.
Empey said the same scenario played out in the public lounge, where there was a TV, but nothing to watch either.
He has reached out to Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness, emphasizing that while the staff are great, he believes that having someone sit in a room without a distraction is “cruel.”
Throness’s constituency assistant, Dagmar Lucak, checked with Fraser Health and replied that Wi-Fi will be implemented for use by everyone by September.
Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma confirmed that they are working on getting Wi-Fi to patient rooms and that will be resolved by the fall.
However, Lucak said that connecting TVs to television channels requires major work that would disrupt the hospital’s operations. While the hospital has been wired for cable TV, the new fibre optic system has left those lines obsolete.
To install the new Optic system, they will have to replace TVs that do not have Optic line capabilities and they would have to do construction work on the hospital.
“[It] would require the hospital to shut down and plastic off areas of patient care in order to cut and test gyprock for asbestos content, and then open walls to string new fibre optic cable,” replied Lucak in a letter. “The work would be costly, time consuming and possibly invasive health wise.”
However, Juma added that the TV in the public lounge will have cable connected to it by this week.