Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday said that the Ministry of Justice had lied about why it had selected the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) as the medical center where former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has received medical check-ups and treatment.
The lawmakers asked Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) to provide a report on the matter in a legislative meeting set for tomorrow.
DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference yesterday that the remarks made by Taipei Prison on the former president’s transfer to the TVGH are at odds with remarks made by other hospitals.
Chen Shui-bian’s family had said it would prefer that the former president be taken to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei or to a hospital in southern Taiwan, but the prison decided to transfer Chen Shui-bian to the TVGH, despite the objections of the Chen family, who say the hospital is “politically affiliated” with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Taipei Prison on Friday said that Mackay Memorial Hospital declined to admit Chen Shui-bian because it has insufficient experience in functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) testing, while Far Eastern Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Linkou District (林口) said they had no equipment to monitor cerebral microemboli.
The National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) said no to Chen Shui-bian because it has problems with security maintenance, the Taipei Prison added.
However, Chen Ting-fei said yesterday that Mackay said it had not been approached by the judicial authorities about functional MRI and Far Eastern said it had not received any judicial authority enquiry about Chen Shui-bian’s transfer to the hospital, Chen Ting-fei added.
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital has equipment to monitoring microemboli in cerebral circulation, according to Chen Ting-fei, adding that the NTUH, on the other hand, had declined to comment on issues surrounding the former president’s transfer.
The ministry and the prison were both lying to the public about the matter of Chen Shui-bians’ transfer, Chen Ting-fei charges, adding that as a result of which DPP lawmakers have asked Tseng to report the matter to the legislative Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee meeting which is scheduled to take place tomorrow.
In response, Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) said transferring Chen Shui-bian to the TVGH was a medical decision, adding that the hospital has advanced equipment and services which are adequate for his treatment.
The former president, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, was admitted to Taoyuan General Hospital on Sept. 12 after complaining of having difficulty urinating.
An MRI conducted by Taoyuan hospital showed that he had had a minor stroke. Based on a recommendation by the hospital, the Ministry of Justice decided to transfer Chen Shui-bian to a different medical center for further examination.