Internet in Hospitals

During our last four months of treatment we spent about 2 months in the Hospital on and off.

Lately, Shalev has discovered that he loves YouTube and is chewing through my data plan like crazy. He managed to rack up $60 of data charges yesterday on my mobile plan.

I know that in, the big scheme of things, this is really just not a big deal. What are a few dollars if you can make your kid happy.

That said…

I was wondering, is the situation in the Sydney Children’s Hospital unique, in that there is no Internet for patients? Is this something that happens everywhere in Australia in Children’s oncology wards? Everywhere in the US?

Whoa that’s terrible! Pretty much all of our hospitals have internet here in the states - and most of them did when we went through treatment as well (in 2009/2010). Browsing the Internet was one of our few mental breaks!


So I was somewhat surprised by this. I guess it’s just one of those things I took for granted: there was decent internet in the hospital (usually better than we had at home since we live in the country).
But I think this speaks to a larger issue. I totally understand what you’re saying about $60 not being being a big deal in the big scheme, but it kind of is. We talk often about the financial toll that childhood cance takes. We have to do things to comfort and distract our kids from all they’re going through, we have to feed our families, often when we’re in two different places, we have to drive-- a lot. It all adds up. Even when the medical portion is well coveed, the other things add up and have an impact that is hard for people outside of this experience to understand.

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Right - and $60 a day… over a year… gets pretty pricey.

Ok, so who do we talk to to get WiFi in Sydney? :slight_smile:


Thanks @KyleMatthews and @Dawn

Trying to figure out who to talk to here, they have been really cagey about giving me information even about who to talk to.

Going to bug people today and try to find who is in charge.

So odd, talked to the doctors about this again today … they said plans are in motion, and that this is already funded, just caught up in some sort of IT vortex.

In other news I reached out to the telcos twitter and got an awesome deal on mobile data on Vodafone.

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Annnnnnd, boom goes the dynamite. :slight_smile:

Well, that’s one Australian hospital wifi issue taken care of!

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This is SO true :heart_decoration:. I mentioned my situation to a close friend and he said: “but what if every child started watching YouTube” alluding to it being sort of ridiculous for me to expect this.

Luckily the doctors and hospital staff do no share this kind of sentiment at all, they all want to do anything they can to make kids happy. If watching YouTube all day makes a 3 year old happy while going through painful chemo, why not give it to them?

The trouble, in Australia (after discussing this with the people in charge), is that hospitals can be big bureaucracies and add to that government funding for stuff like Internet, needs to go to tender in a painfully long process. My ward has 2 sources of funding (donations and government) and the “implement the Internet” thing is a government thing at the moment in my hospital.

That’s an interesting part of health care being government subsidized.

Although, really, your friend was so wrong! If every kid in that hospital got on YouTube… it’d be an amazing way for them to continue being like their peers, and to pass the time. Not to mention the parents having the ability to keep up with work, and push away the boredom / stress a little also.

Go internet.


Their peers are already online like crazy anyway…why is THAT not ridiculous?

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Call your cell phone provider and ask them for unlimited at the Dame that you pay. We had the same issue and my minutes were terrible with all the support we got long distance. They credited my account every time I called and asked for help. It’s worth a shot.

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YouTube and Netflix are my savior during isolation!!


The WiFi in the hospitals are horrible in both that we have stayed in. We have been averaging and extra $60 a month too. It does help if we shut off mobile data on our phone while connected to the WiFi, but it gets dropped very frequently and buffers a ton of times. Our son is very unhappy about it and we just deal with it. I have heard of boosters that can help your signal and i am looking into purchasing one for his room! I also plan to contact the phone provider and look at data plans. Some providers don’t offer unlimited data and ours is one. May be switching providers. Hope this triggers any ideas for you and good luck!

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If you are having these kind of issues in the US you are quite lucky, quite a few carriers offer unlimited data plans.

Try t-mobile

I would not worry about boosters, it is far more likely the issue is around the capacity in the hospital vs wifi signal strength.

Well I think this deserves an update, we are in hospital at the moment, in the last 4 years stuff has not gotten any better, this is how hospital internet looks like in Sydney Children’s Hospital:

We have a “free” Internet in the hospital. It barely works and is too slow to use. You can barely check your emails.

One huge difference over last time though is that Optus (a carrier in Australia) have a fantastic wireless home broadband plan. You get a perfectly decent mobile data plan covering 500GB of data for one month for 68 dollars. A trick I learned is that you can sign up for 2 years, but cancel at any time and you simply pay off the model (250 or so dollars).

@Jelena is Internet in Melbourne hospitals also terrible or is this just a SCH thing?

Hi Sam,

Sorry to hear you’re in hospital again, hope all is well?

I don’t know all the technical details, but did not have any major issues with free wi-fi at the Royal Children’s. Was able to work just fine (emails, logging to the work servers etc), stream music, movies and similar. Occasionally it would crash if there were too many users on the network, but it happened maybe once or twice in the last year.


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