Arroyo can be treated in Philippines, PMA exec says

Posted at 08/17/12 7:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo can be treated in the country for her illness and does not need to travel overseas, a Philippine Medical Association (PMA) official said Friday.

PMA vice-president Dr. Leo Olarte told ANC Top Story that the Philippines has medical specialists and modern facilities to treat the Pampanga lawmaker.

"The condition can be treated here in the Philippines, but of course, the PMA respects the right of the patient to go to his or her doctor of trust and confidence wherever the doctor is," he said. "But if they say it can only be treated abroad, we object to that position."

An ally of Arroyo, Rep. Danilo Suarez, earlier said he will file a resolution asking the judiciary and executive branches to allow the former President to leave the country and seek medical treatment abroad.

Suarez said Arroyo is suffering from "moderate to severe attacks on the neck, shoulder, ankle and back."

He also said Arroyo suffers from frequent episodes of choking.

He quoted Arroyo's cardiologist, Dr. Robert Anastacio, as having said that that the former President is at risk of sudden death unless her condition is properly treated.

Olarte, however, disputed the claims of Suarez.

"There is no guarantee. Doctors are not guarantors of care or good results, even in the United States or anywhere in any country, complications may arise," he said.

"If they say the condition can only be treated abroad, that is totally unfounded," he added.

Olarte explained that Arroyo's bone where a titanium implant was screwed on is weak.

"We believe it is an osteoporotic bone. It will take time to heal," he said. "Even if this is done in the United States, no doctor in his right mind wil guarantee that there will be no complications."

He said that if Arroyo is suffering from choking while eating, she she should be careful while eating.

"I am not sure if she has a heart disease that will require only treatment abroad," he added.