Free wifi for inpatients at Wellington and Hutt hospitals

Overnight patients at Wellington and Hutt hospitals and Kapiti Health Centre now have access to free wifi.
REUTERS

Overnight patients at Wellington and Hutt hospitals and Kapiti Health Centre now have access to free wifi.

Free wifi is now available at Wellington Regional, Kenepuru Community and Hutt Hospitals, and the Kapiti Health Centre.

At this stage only inpatients staying overnight will have acess to the wifi on their mobile phones, tablet or laptop, greater Wellington chief information officer Shayne Hunter said.

Outpatients will continue to pay for internet access.

"Our priority was free wifi for patients who stay in hospital – especially for prolonged periods. We're now exploring free wifi for outpatients – those attending appointments – in the future."

READ MORE: Families of sick kids frustrated over CCDHB's wi-fi costs

Patients and their families have previously lamented the costs and quality of wifi at Wellington Hospital, at $35 for 48 hours of internet access.

Hunter said the Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs had addressed the feedback.

"Free wifi and internet access will help patients stay fully in touch with family and friends, and with what's happening in the outside world during their stay in hospital."

It's unclear if there's a limit on data, but a spokesman for the DHBs said people should "expect the sort of experience you have at home."

Patients can log into the network with their national health index (NHI) number on their hospital identification wristband.

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One NHI can be used to log two devices into the network at the same time, so a parent at the bedside of a sick child could use the network.

Maternity patients are the only ones who stay overnight at Kapiti Health Centre.

Making free wifi available meant significant changes to the hospitals' IT platforms, and creating systems to filter content and block certain websites, Hunter said.

 - Stuff

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