PATIENTS and visitors to Port Macquarie Base Hospital can tap into free WiFi.
The Wrights Road hospital is the first regional public hospital in the state to offer the service.
Stephen Hamer, his son Jonah, and their entire family have used the free WiFi during Jonah’s hospital stay.
“It just makes the whole stay much easier knowing you are not using up personal data, especially when you’re here for quite long periods,” Mr Hamer said.
“It makes it much easier on the kids and I’m sure older patients as well.”
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams joined health staff on Tuesday to launch the service.
Mrs Williams said people expected to be connected to the internet and that was so important for hospital patients.
“Our families are often a long way away and one of the ways you can stay connected is through the internet and Facebook,” she said.
The state government during the past two years has invested more than $30 million to improve Wi-Fi services in health facilities, including building a secure, high-speed broadband network to connect more than 150 hospitals and facilities across the state.
This network is the critical infrastructure that makes guest Wi-Fi possible.
NSW eHealth wireless project manager Jason Matthews said the free WiFi was very easy to access.
“It takes seconds to connect,” he said.
The free service allows guest to browse the internet and access email.
Premium services, such as NetFlix and Foxtel, incur a small charge.
All appropriate internet security filters are in place.
Guest Wi-Fi will be introduced to other Mid North Coast Local Health District facilities in the coming months.