Estevan's member of legislature says she is completely on board with bringing MRI services to St. Joseph's Hospital and is lobbying her Saskatchewan Party government to do so.

This past spring, the ministry of health declined philanthropist Elaine Walkom's offer to donate $2 million to bring an MRI machine to Estevan.

A letter sent by the minister for health at the time, Paul Merriman, did not specifically name a reason for the decision.

Estevan MLA Lori Carr said Tuesday morning that she is "100 per cent behind the opportunity to bring MRI services to St. Joseph's Hospital."

Merriman's letter said there weren't immediate plans to bring MRI services to Estevan. The letter cited a number of factors that are considered when determining locations, including population base, distance from the nearest facility that provides the services, anticipated volumes, ability to recruit and retrain staffing, other specialty services provided in the location, and wait times.

Carr said the Saskatchewan Health Authority is evaluating "the services that are needed in each of its communities."

"Well, I would argue that these services are needed," said Carr. "So what that tells me is there's more work that needs to be done."

Carr said she's "actively lobbying [her] colleagues for this to turn into a yes."

She said St. Joseph's Hospital's executive director Candace Kopec said they are working on an official proposal to show the ministry why it makes sense to offer MRI services in Estevan.

"This is what we had to do a few years back when we were successful in bringing CT services to the area," said Carr. "I know it is frustrating with how long it takes for positive approvals, but I think we we are in a spot now that an official proposal will be prepared by the facility that will actually host this MRI machine. I look forward to that work being done. Then I will be able to show exactly why we should receive a yes."

Swift Current MLA Everett Hindley took over the role of minister of health in the August 29 cabinet shuffle. 

Carr said she's had positive conversations with Hindley, and Hindley was able to speak with Kopec when he visited St. Joseph's Hospital two or three weeks ago.

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