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Chen OKs longer stay at Veterans General

Jailed ex-President Chen Shui-bian yesterday expressed his willingness to remain hospitalized at Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) for further treatment, according to a press release issued by his office.

In the press statement, Chen expressed his gratitude to TVGH President Lin Fang-yu for the comprehensive medical service provided by the hospital. The former president also thanked Fang Zi-jie, chief of Taipei Prison, for visiting him several times during his hospitalization in TVGH.

The ex-president said that he has established very good ties with TVGH's medical team and so felt comfortable staying at TVGH for further treatment.

TVGH released a press statement saying that no hospital has the right to reject patients. It said it will give Chen's overall physical examination report to Taipei Prison for evaluation. TVGH added that it is up to Taipei Prison to decide whether or not Chen will be allowed to remain at TVGH, where the former president has been hospitalized since Sept. 21 for a thorough physical checkup. His medical team includes a psychiatrist, neurologist and urologist.

TVGH said that magnetic resonance imaging scans on Chen's brain suggest he is suffering hypertension, severe depression and sleep apnea.

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

The hospital has suggested Chen be transferred to a hospital with a department of psychiatry as soon as possible so as to receive psychotherapy and be provided appropriate medicines.

Chen Chao-chi, a member of a private medical consultancy team set up by Chen's family members, said that their first choice for the former president's hospitalization is the Kaohsiung Medical University Chung Ho Memorial Hospital in Southern Taiwan.

The second preference is the Mackay Memorial Hospital.

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