The process to get an MRI machine in Estevan received a boost from the province in the recently announced budget, which is drawing praise from the people coordinating that effort.

Estevan MLA Lori Carr stated that in the budget they have "Provided the commitment to proceed to further work with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan, through Emmanual Health, to move forward with their proposal to install an MRI scanner at St. Joseph’s hospital."

"Once the new MRI scanner is installed, government is also committed to provide the ongoing operational funding required to operate an MRI scanner in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan."

Elaine Walkom, who first floated the $2 million donation for the MRI machine, says that the news is great to hear.

"I'm very pleased to see that we passed that big step because to go for MRIs in the 1st place is stressful. But if you can knock two hours off of driving time to worry about it and stress out, it just makes it so much better for everybody involved. To take the burden off the province too is a great thing and it will lower the burden because people in Regina can get in quicker and we here in southern Saskatchewan can get our MRI. It's just a boon for everybody." 

In terms of when that MRI machine will be set up, Walkom says that it likely won't be done this year.

"I think by the time they get the building done and everything moved in, I think it'll probably be 2025. I mean, I'm impatient, I'd like it up next week, but that's not going to happen. But just to know that it's going ahead from a year ago when I was told no, it's not going to happen, it's never going to be in Estevan, this is a big step for everybody in Estevan.

"Estevan's like our hub which serves the whole southeast. So everybody there can be a little happier about this now and keep your fingers crossed that we can get it up and running sooner than anticipated."