When you’re in hospital, it can be difficult to just get through the day even without the added pressure of having to vote. It’s for this reason that an organized group of caring individuals at BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre work hard to make voting easier on site.
“I think for a lot of people, voting is really important,” says Director of Patient Experience Mary MacKillop. “They want to participate and have their voice heard in an election and when they’re in hospital, they worry they can’t do that.”
Through the BC Children’s and BC Women’s Patient Experience - Volunteer Resources, two voting locations were open as an advance poll for eligible patient and family voters on Monday, September 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. A total of 78 patients and families were able to cast their vote.
Patients only needed to show a hospital ID, hospital bracelet or BC Services Card (formerly CareCard) to vote. Bedside voting was also possible. A family member who is in the hospital with a patient may have also voted on campus with appropriate ID.
“We take all the worry out of voting,” Mary says. “We ensure every patient and family, who is isolated in care or required to be in care can vote, if they wish, while on campus.”
Jeanne Castillo voted while at BC Women’s for the delivery of her son, Caidyn, in the October 2020 provincial election. Her partner, Rob McCarron was shocked at how easy the process was.
“I was very surprised because, that morning, I went to vote myself and then I went to the hospital to see Jeanne. They came right into the room to let her vote,” says Rob.
“Patients are often surprised and delighted that we make sure, whether it’s federal, provincial or municipal, that they can vote while they’re in care with us,” Mary says.