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June 24, 2017

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Chen suffering depression: hospital

The China Post news staff--Jailed former President Chen Shui-bian is suffering from severe depression and requires psychiatric treatment, according to a press release issued yesterday afternoon by Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH), where Chen has been hospitalized since Sept. 21 and received a thorough physical examination.

TVGH is expected to hold a press conference this morning to announce the final results of Chen's physical checkup and explain medical terminology used in the press statement released yesterday.

The statement said that through a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on Chen's brain, there are some signals showing that Chen is suffering hypertension, severe depression, sleep apnea.

In addition, Chen is also stuttering and suffering from psychiatric disease, benign prostate hyperplasia, prostatitis and a urinary tract infection, according to the statement.

The TVGH suggests in the statement that Chen be transferred to another hospital with a department of psychiatry as soon as possible to receive psychotherapy and undergo related medical treatment.

In response, Fang Zi-chieh, chief of Taipei Prison, where Chen has been jailed, said that if the former leader is diagnosed with psychiatric problems the prison will send him to a hospital with a department of psychiatry and not a "mental hospital."

Fang said that the prison will ready a bed in a special space for Chen and will allow psychiatrists to take care of him. If necessary, Fang added, the prison will follow the suggestions of TVGH and send Chen to receive long-term psychotherapy at a properly equipped hospital.

Meanwhile, Chen Tian-hsiung, a deputy president of TVGH, said that the hospital has completed a written report on Chen's physical examination results and will release the report at a press conference this morning.

Chen has been hospitalized at TVGH since Sept. 21, with his medical team including a psychiatrist, neurologist and urologist.

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