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Contractor agrees to replace TVs at Royal Jubilee Hospital

HealthHub Solutions will begin the work immediately, the health authority said Monday
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Robert Jacobson bought his father a flatscreen TV and zap-strapped it to the broken 2011 TV on the wall of his Royal Jubilee Hospital room. VIA ROBERT JACOBSON

Island Health has reached an agreement with a contractor to replace more than 100 outdated and broken televisions at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

HealthHub Solutions will begin the work immediately, the health authority said in a ­statement Monday.

There are 102 patient-room TVs at Royal Jubilee that require replacement, it said.

Under the negotiated ­agreement, Island Health will pay about $250 per replaced TV and HealthHub will cover the remainder.

The Times Colonist has been reporting on the problem since it was raised by the husband of an 86-year-old patient at Royal ­Jubilee, who has tried in vain since December to get her ­broken TV fixed or replaced.

Elizabeth Diane Moffatt’s TV was replaced last Wednesday, but it was unclear at the time if and when other broken sets would also be replaced.

The contract with HealthHub Solutions dates back to when the eight-storey, 500-bed patient care centre opened in 2011. Since then, the contract has been extended many times, seemingly without clear language as to who was responsible for replacing the original outdated TVs.

Since the first story, ­complaints have poured in to the Times Colonist from past and present patients and their families who say many of the TVs have been broken for years, with just one or two fixed now and then.

Readers offered monetary and equipment donations to replace the TVs or fix them.

Robert Jacobson wrote on the weekend to say that his father, a current patient at Royal ­Jubilee, has received great care but has had three TVs that haven’t worked.

Jacobson said his fix was to buy a TV and hang it on the wall. “We didn’t touch the TV on the wall, just attached zap straps and plugged it in,” he said. “We only get five channels via antenna. Better than nothing.”

Jacobson said the TV cost $157 not including the zap straps. “When we are done we take it home,” he said.

Rusten Flynn publicly ­complained about the broken TVs at Royal Jubilee Hospital last year following the death of his wife, Dawn Stewart, from cancer on June 14.

Like Moffatt, Stewart had become too ill to manipulate her iPad or another similar device.

Flynn said despite promises, the broken TVs were never fixed and never publicly mentioned again until the Moffatts ­complained.

Island Health said Monday that patient entertainment is an important part of many ­people’s hospital stays, adding that it offers free Wi-Fi and TVs in communal areas.

ceharnett@timescolonist.com

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