Some residents are still looking for an MRI machine in Estevan, even after the government refused a donation earlier this month.

That includes Elaine Walkom, who offered that donation in order to better service the community and is now taking part in meetings to get that built.

That included a recent meeting with Cory Miller, the CEO of Emmanuel Health, where she was joined by St. Joseph Hospital Executive Director Candace Kopec, St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Executive Director Lori Gervais, and fellow citizen Dean Martins.

The conversation focused on a lot of the work that would need to be done for an MRI.

"Cory told us a lot of stuff that we didn't know about MRIs, the positioning it has to be in, the flooring, and the walls. Everything has to be special because of the magnetic field. This isn't for sure yet because he has to put a budget together, which goes to the government in March. However, he's going to try to fast-track that through December. So you know, I feel like it's between 70 and 80% that it'll fly. I'm optimistic. So I'm hoping for that."

Walkom says she was impressed by Miller's familiarity with the process, which could cut down time.

"He said that because he's done this so many times, he knows the people to contact and they come in and do their thing and they know exactly what they're doing. They don't have to consult with other people on how to or the whys and wherefores and that sort of thing, so that in itself is a really good thing, and being that he has all this experience doing it is another thing I liked. I thought he was a good straight shooter and I thought he knew his stuff.

She's hoping to get the new machine so more people can avoid having to take long trips for the procedure.

"There's people here that need it. There are so many people driving back and forth, there are so many people going to the United States and other provinces and that's not right," said Walkom, "That's just not right for our Saskatchewan people. Everybody pays their taxes, we deserve better and I think we get ignored in this part of the province." 

Walkom says that while initially, the government wasn't very invested in the project, since last week when the MRI donation rejection became public, she's had multiple talks with the provincial government.

That's included local MLA Lori Carr and the Minister of Health Everett Hindley.

Walkom says that even though it's been an experience getting the project going, she's glad there's been so much progress made.

"Now I look back on it and I'm really happy that I kept pursuing it, but had I quit it, nothing would have come to fruition."

Should the government accept the budget, Walkom guesses that the MRI would be built over the next 1.5-2 years.