Lawmakers across party lines were readying themselves yesterday to quiz the minister of justice today over the hospital the ministry chose former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to undergo medical check-ups and treatment despite objections by his family and given the severity of Chen’s state of health.
Lawmakers asked Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) to provide a report on the matter at a legislative Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee meeting, which is scheduled to take place today.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-Ming (柯建銘) said most DPP legislators would attend the meeting to hear about Chen’s medical state.
The party insists that Chen’s health is deteriorating and that he should be granted medical parole as soon as possible, he added.
DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said the minister had to explain why he did not choose National Taiwan University Hospital — which had previously been responsible for Chen’s medical check-ups — and instead sent Chen to Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He would also be asked why the ministry hid the fact Chen had had a minor stroke.
Meanwhile, Taipei Prison said Chen had an exam of his abdomen completed yesterday and that arrangements had been made for him to receive an urination test today.
The prison added it would hold a press conference on Chen’s condition.
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 scan carried out by Taoyuan hospital showed Chen had had a minor stroke. Based on the hospital’s recommendation, the ministry decided to transfer Chen to a different medical center for further examination.
Chen’s family had said it would prefer the former president be taken to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei or one in southern Taiwan, adding that the TVGH is “politically affiliated” with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).