VICTORIA -- The Victoria Hospitals Foundation has received a multimillion-dollar donation to help build a high acuity unit (HAU) at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

The $2.65-million donation comes from Seaspan Victoria Shipyards and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. The donation is going towards a fundraising campaign to build a purpose-built HAU at Royal Jubilee because Vancouver Island lacks its own HAU space.

A high acuity unit provides a high level of care for patients, and is generally used as a transition unit between intensive care and acute care. Patients in an HAU may be recovering from surgery or may be receiving treatment for serious medical issues, like COVID-19, that require close monitoring.

The Victoria Hospitals Foundation says that having an HAU would boost critical care capacity at Royal Jubilee by 73 per cent.

"When we heard that Vancouver Island was the only health region in the province without this kind of unit we knew we had to act, especially considering the unprecedented impact COVID-19 is having in our communities," said Joe O’Rourke, vice president and general manager of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards, in a release Tuesday.

"On behalf of over 3,100 employees in B.C., including 1,000 locally, Seaspan is proud to be part of this lasting gift that will benefit the Victoria area now and for generations to come."

While Tuesday’s donation marked the largest capital investment into critical care at a Victoria hospital in 20 years, more funding is still needed to construct an HAU at Royal Jubilee.

In total, $7 million is needed. So far, the hospital foundation’s fundraising campaign has raised roughly 65 per cent of that goal.

To learn more about the fundraising campaign, or to donate, visit the Victoria Hospitals Foundation website here