Intended for healthcare professionals

Head To Head

Should all NHS premises provide free access to wi-fi?

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4098 (Published 12 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4098

Re: Should all NHS premises provide free access to wi-fi?

It is totally aberrant to have a technology (Wi-Fi) in a hospital setting and health treatment centers - a place of healing - that radiates sick persons 24/7 with potentially harmful non-ionizing radiation. Among a whole slew of biological effects, the technology suppresses the immune system, already weakened when one is ill. Persons who are sensitive to this technology cannot be treated in hospitals at all where there is Wi-Fi. For these persons, there should be treatment areas where cell phone use is not allowed and there are no Wi-Fi installations. Furthermore, face-to-face discussion is always the best, most empathetic means of communication rather than using a digital device, especially when it concerns one's health. Usually, Wi-Fi is installed in hospitals mainly for the entertainment of patients and visitors. Is this really a valid reason for exposing sick people to this radiation?

I am electrosensitive and could barely sleep at all during a week-long hospital stay. The Wi-Fi router was just outside my room. I became electrosensitive when spending many hours per day visiting my companion in hospital where he was being treated for mesothelioma. The doctors removed the affected lung, but the incisions did not heal - was this in part due to the presence of Wi-Fi in the room?

In May 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations, who collectively have written over 2,000 peer-reviewed papers on the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation emitted by wireless technology, signed the EMF Scientist Appeal addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the Director-General of the World Health Organization. The appeal warned of the harmful risks of non-ionizing radiation emitted by wireless technology. See https://www.emfscientist.org/

Wi-Fi has no place in hospitals. It is time that medical establishments focus on the well-being of the sick entrusted to them, not on the patient's need to be distracted or consult files regarding health care.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 August 2015
Meris R. Michaels
Health advocate
Association Romande Alerte (Swiss association for safer use of wireless technology and assistance to electrosensitive persons)
23 ave. Wendt, 1203 Geneva, Switzerland