PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has appealed for her husband and former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to be hospitalised, saying that he is not going to run away.
“Perhaps Anwar can receive treatment for an hour, and the rest of the time (the physiotherapist) can treat other patients and not deny physiotherapy to other patients.
“But if you send a physiotherapist to prison (to treat Anwar), half of his day would be wasted. And he is not going to run. Is there an escape plan?” Wan Azizah told a press conference in Petaling Jaya today.
She said this in response to a suggestion mooted by Parti Amanah Negara committee member Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli during the press conference that a physiotherapist can be sent from the Kuala Lumpur Hospital to the Sungai Buloh Prison regularly to treat Anwar, if the authorities insist that Anwar must be kept within prison grounds.
Earlier, at the same press conference, the newly-minted opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan called for Anwar to be hospitalised immediately, so that he could undergo intensive physiotherapy before getting surgery for the chronic pain in his right shoulder.
Wan Azizah said Anwar needed treatment to reduce the pain and avoid long-term effects while awaiting surgery, and that the facilities at Sungai Buloh Prison are inadequate for this.
She said he needs the therapy, both before and after the surgery, and the surgery on its own would be pointless if there is no guarantee that Anwar would be able to undergo regular physiotherapy afterwards.
In lieu of hospitalisation, she said, Anwar should at least be taken to the hospital for treatment no less than three times a week while waiting for the surgery.
This would be the same treatment that he had received during his first prison term, from 1999 to 2004, she said.
Wan Azizah also told reporters that Anwar’s condition was so severe now that he was unable to comb his hair or put on a shirt by himself.
Hatta (photo) added that the treatment for Anwar should not be a problem for the Healthy Ministry to provide, since it was neither expensive nor complicated, but was needed to avoid complications.
“This shouldn’t be a problem that causes a big issue to the ministry. This is needed so that, prior to surgery, there would be no complications to the muscles and bones affected.
“In orthopaedic cases, physiotherapy is something very basic and cannot be denied,” Hatta said.
Anwar’s family and lawyers have repeatedly complained of the supposed lack of medical attention that Anwar was being provided, such as being given physiotherapy only once a month, instead of several times a week as recommended by an orthopaedic specialist.
The Health Ministry has, in its response, countered that Anwar is being treated by 17 clinical consultants from eight medical disciplines, and that he also underwent two magnetic resonance imaging scans over a period of four months.
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