A businessperson is calling on others in the private sector to contribute to local health care after his foundation donated $1.5 million to the Royal Columbian Hospital’s ER renovations.
Jack Gin announced the donation in the hospital’s Columbia Tower Monday morning, surrounded by RCH Foundation officials. The donation will help fund phase two of the hospital’s $1.49-billion redevelopment, which largely focuses on a multi-storey acute-care tower, expected to be finished by 2024.
That will include a new emergency department with 75 treatment bays, increasing the department’s capacity by more than half. This will help the hospital to continue its role as one of three critical care hospitals in the province, the RCH Foundation said in a news release.
RCH is the only B.C. hospital with trauma, cardiac, neurosciences, high-risk maternity and neonatal intensive care in one site, the foundation added. That means patients come from all around the Fraser Health region and beyond to get critical care.
Gin’s donation, officials said, will allow the hospital to develop an imaging unit within the hospital’s emergency department. The unit will be a satellite to the imaging department, allowing patients requiring urgent imaging to get the work done without needing a transfer between departments.
The satellite unit will house technology dedicated to the ER area, including a CT scanner, ultrasound and two radiology rooms.
Dr. William Siu, a neuro and interventional radiologist at RCH, said the added technology to the ER will allow the hospital to respond more quickly to cases like trauma and stroke, in which every minute counts.
“In trauma, there is the term ‘the golden hour,’ where (in) the very first hour, the most important thing for us to get our patients back to good health is rapid diagnosis and rapid treatment,” Siu said.
“The satellite imaging centre in the new redevelopment of the emergency department will bring this critical imaging equipment right to the front door of our hospital so that these patients will get the diagnosis as quickly as possible.”
Asked how major donations like Gin’s come about, RCH Foundation CEO Jeff Norris said it can be the donor seeking to fund a service of their interest, the foundation seeking donations for necessary equipment or a combination of the two.
In the case of Gin, the engineer and entrepreneur said he is interested in technology and wanted to see the hospital have more access to health-care tech.
Gin, who described his family as very private and uncomfortable in the spotlight, made much of his money through, Extreme CCTV, a Burnaby high-tech surveillance equipment company he founded.
“At the time, Canada’s privacy commissioner did not like us, nor did the B.C. Civil Liberties folks,” he said. “We were the invaders of privacy, and we had the Secret Service and MI6 on our rolodex.”
Extreme CCTV was bought by German firm Bosch in 2007 for $93 million, according to a Globe and Mail report from the time.