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Patients and visitors at Tofino's hospital can now hop onto a free Wi-Fi service while waiting for care.

The service is provided by the Tofino General Hospital Foundation at a cost of up to $1,300 per year.

Anyone in the hospital can now access the service by connecting to the network "IslandHealthGuest."

The public service supports basic internet browsing but not larger bandwidth uses like high-definition video streaming.

“We’re really happy to support this service at the hospital,” said Arlene McGinnis, chair of the Tofino General Hospital Foundation, in a news release Thursday.

“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 service doesn’t require any new installation or construction at the hospital.

“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, the hospital's site director.

“Having Wi-Fi will help them stay connected to their family and friends at home.”

In 2018, Victoria General Hospital, Royal Jubilee Hospital, the Cowichan District Hospital, Lady Minto Hospital, West Coast General Hospital and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital were all able to begin offering free Wi-Fi.

The North Island Hospital campuses in Campbell River and Comox included Wi-Fi when they opened in 2017.