A prominent financial backer of healthcare in southeastern Saskatchewan is shocked that the province rejected an offer from a donor to bring MRI services to Estevan.

"Quite frankly, I couldn't believe that they would turn down $2 million," said Estevan McDonald's Co-owner Tim Jenish. "I think it's fantastic that the money was offered. To have it turned down with no real reasons given, I think that doesn't bode well for the people who made that decision."

Elaine Walkom offered the donation to the ministry of health in the spring, but the province declined.

Golden West Broadcasting has asked the province's communications team multiple times why the offer was rejected, but has not received an answer.

The latest response from executive council was "the Ministry of Health is actively working with the operator of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Emmanuel Health, to develop a thorough plan that will support ongoing discussions on this issue."

Golden West Broadcasting has also submitted multiple requests for an interview with Minister of Health Everett Hindley or Premier Scott Moe, to no avail.

Jenish, who co-owns the local McDonald's with his wife Christine, said there's a need for expanded services at St. Joseph's Hospital.

"I think it's very important for us to have a facility that offers all services," he said, adding it can be difficult for some people to travel to bigger centres for an MRI.

Jenish said they'd like to help support the addition if the decision is reversed, provided a plan is rolled out showing how the unit would be put in place and how it would be staffed.

Estevan MLA Lori Carr said she is advocating for the decision to turn into a yes.

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