Two more doctors urged a “holistic approach” in the recovery of former President Gloria Arroyo as they called on the Sandiganbayan to allow her to post bail in the case of the P366-million Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office scam.
Doctors Martha Nucum, assistant chief medical professional staff, and Celestino Dalisay, head of department of medicine of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), said Arroyo is suffering from cervical radicular pain and low back pain with radiculopathy.
Only analgesics were served to ease her pain brought about by her cervical spine radiculopathy and degenerative lumbar spine disease that did not show improvement despite three operations.
Nucum and Dalisay affirmed the findings of two other doctors who said Arroyo has difficulty in swallowing food which leads to poor appetite and weight loss and worsens her overall health and recovery.
The physicians said Arroyo’s “limited mobility and confined environment” are not conducive to her speedy recovery.
“Full recovery from certain illnesses requires a holistic approach that includes family support, emotional stability and spiritual upliftment which she cannot attain while being confined in a hospital,” the two doctors said.
Two other physicians, Doctors Antonio Sison and Ernesto Palanca, earlier told the Sandiganbayan that Arroyo’s continuous detention at the VMMC is actually affecting her health.
Sison, a spine surgeon at the VMMC, said it is not healthy to keep a patient in continued confinement as it is “not conducive but may only slow down the healing process and hinder full recovery.”
Palanca, another of Arroyo’s doctors, added that “one mode worth trying” to reverse the degenerating condition of Arroyo is to “release her from detention even on a temporary liberty so that her body can rally the protective forces only her mind can command.”
The medical bulletins form part of the defense’s pitch to convince the Sandiganbayan to grant Arroyo bail.
The anti-graft court has already approved bail for three former PCSO executives, Sergio Valencia, Manuel Morato and Raymundo Roquero.
JOHN CONSTANTINE G. CORDON