Exceptional health care requires three important components: expertise, equipment and facilities.  While our highly skilled doctors and nurses provide the highest quality of health care, Richmond urgently needs a new Acute Care Tower to meet both current and future demands of a rapidly growing and aging population.

To learn more how you can make an impact on health care for the community, please contact:
Sharon Kennedy
Campaign Director, Richmond Hospital Foundation

Richmond's Present Challenges

Richmond’s population has quadrupled in the past five decades, and the city also has the fastest growing seniors population in the province. Richmond residents have Canada's longest life span at 85 years old, longer than the national average of 81, placing enormous demands on our system. While the population has grown four-fold, the number of beds in Richmond Hospital has barely doubled in the past 50 years. Richmond ranks last in the entire province when it comes to the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people. Without sufficient beds, wait times are prolonged, delaying Richmond Hospital's ability to provide patients with quality health care when they need it 

Crowded hospital bedrooms

Nurse Emergency First Aid Bag

The way medical care is delivered has changed dramatically over the years. Hospital rooms built in 1966 were not designed to accommodate the vital medical equipment and technology of today.  And in 1966, infection control was not a high priority.  Patient rooms today, like the original building, are outdated and insufficient to meet current needs.  

The North Tower, the original hospital tower, houses more than 100 hospital beds or roughly half of the hospital’s total beds.  The infrastructure of the original Tower is inadequate to meet today’s seismic standards.  In a moderate earthquake measuring a magnitude 5 to 5.9 or above, the building will collapse and flooding will occur due to liquefaction.  Richmond Hospital urgently needs a new Acute Care Tower to replace the old, unrepairable, insufficient North Tower.  The time is now for a new Acute Care Tower.  We believe every patient deserves access to quality, reliable and safe medical care and facilities.   

50 Years of Transformation

In the past half century, Richmond Hospital grew together with the community, witnessing the rapid growth and transformation of the city.  When Richmond Hospital opened its doors in 1966 was named the most modern hospital of its kind boasting the latest in advanced medical equipment.  The six-storey hospital also dominated the Richmond skyline and was the tallest building of its day. 

Since then, the population of Richmond has surged from 50,000 to more than 210,000.  Richmond has transformed itself from an agricultural area into a prosperous metropolis. Many farmlands have been transformed into urban hubs with high-rises of commercial buildings, condominiums, and shops.  Richmond Hospital has also expanded from the original 6 storey building, to include new facilities and expanding the services it offers. 

In addition to serving Richmond residents, the hospital also serves those from its neighbouring municipalities including South Vancouver and Delta as well as the 20 million passengers and flight crew travelling through Vancouver International Airport. Whenever medical services are needed, Richmond Hospital is standing by to provide care.   
Dr Ian Wong Radiology
Richmond Lions Manor Seniors

The Origin of Richmond Hospital: A Community Effort

More than a half century ago, Richmond, mostly farmlands then, had a population of 50,000, but a hospital was nowhere to be found in the city.  Whenever patients required medical or surgical care, both doctors and patients in Richmond had to travel long distances to Vancouver and other municipalities. It was a hardship for patients to travel while ill, and Richmond doctors were exhausted traveling back and forth between Richmond and Vancouver. Sadly, the government of the day had no plans to build a hospital in Richmond to meet the medical needs of the city. 

In the 1950s, a Richmond doctor named Dr. Richard Talmey, joined with other Richmond residents to form the “Richmond Hospital Society” to advocate for a hospital in Richmond.  The community worked hard over 10 years to lobby the government, and finally in a 1962 referendum, voters said “yes” to Richmond Hospital with Richmond taxpayers agreeing to pay 35% of the costs to help build the hospital.  

The government heard the voice of the people and seeing the determination of the public, agreed to build Richmond a hospital. The long overdue Richmond Hospital officially opened its door in February 1966, and has now been serving the community ever since.  Thanks to the determination, enthusiasm, and perseverance of these insightful visionaries, today the public is able to access compassionate and expert health care close to home in Richmond. 

NursingStaff1966 (cropped)
Dr Richard Talmey
Dr. Richard Talmey (left) City of Richmond Archives 1988 18 44