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Bone biopsy Arroyo seeks abroad can be done in PH, says health secretary

/ 05:51 PM November 03, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The bone biopsy former President Macapagal Arroyo wants to be performed on her in some foreign country is routinely done in the Philippines, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said Thursday.

“Bone biopsy is being done every day here in the country,” Ona told reporters in a press conference at Linden Suites in Pasig City.

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According to him, bone biopsy is a simple procedure that requires a piece of the bone removed from the body.

“We have a lot of doctors who can do this,” Ona said. But he said that the camp of the former President, who underwent three surgeries last August to fix a defect in her cervical spine,  has yet to explain why the former Arroyo needs to have the bone biopsy for her spine condition done abroad.

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Ona visited Arroyo last Friday to see for himself her condition. “I also want to help Justice Secretary (Leila) De Lima in arriving at a decision,” he added, but gave no indication what his advice to De Lima would be. De Lima said Thursday she will announce her decision next week.

Ona said the opinion he would relay to De Lima may or may not be a factor in her decision. “It’s still up to her,” he said.

Ona described Arroyo when he saw her Friday as thin, making her appear to have aged more. He refused, however, to give more details about her medical condition, citing the doctor-patient confidentiality.

Asked if that applied to a former President facing a string of corruption and other charges, Ona answered: “Yes, there is no exemption.”

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TAGS: Biopsy, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Medical Care
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