Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles may be scheduled for surgery this Sunday provided it is allowed by her personal doctors.
Dr. Ishmael Peralta, Ospital ng Makati (OsMak) medical director, said the ball is in the court of doctors from St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City (Metro Manila) who are now in control of Napoles’ care and treatment.
While no definite date has been set for Napoles’ surgery, Peralta said this could be done this weekend if approved by her new medical team.
“That is now their call. They are directly involved in her care and treatment,” Peralta told reporters in a news briefing on Friday.
Dr. Santiago A. del Rosario, the 86-year old head of the Makati Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the million-dollar question now is the real status of Napoles’ health since that will dictate whether a major or minor surgery is to be performed.
“This is crucial because if cancer is detected, the party who prevented the early detection is liable for her condition. Even if there is no cancer, the patient’s suffering and ‘torture’ in the form of insomnia, loss of blood and decline in health was unnecessary from a doctor’s clinical judgment and intent. We must also consider the ‘torture’ experienced by her family brought about by delayed medical attention,” the doctor stressed.
The St. Luke’s team, composed of seven doctors, is led by Elsie Badillo Pascua and Efren Domingo.
The agreement was reached after OsMak officials and physicians met with Pascua and Domingo around 1 p.m., also on Friday.
Peralta clarified that Napoles’ choice of doctors does not mean that she distrusted government physicians.
“It’s a matter of the right of the patient to choose his or her own physician,” he said.
Peralta shared the sentiment of del Rosario who earlier said Napoles should not be deprived of this right, which is observed in “civilized” countries.
He, however, said they would not be totally out of the picture since they would monitor Napoles’ surgery and recovery.
Peralta added that only one doctor from OsMak will “actively participate” in the care and treatment of Napoles while five others will just “monitor and observe” the procedures to be conducted on her.
Before operating on her, Napoles’ own medical team said they would like to reexamine the patient and review her test results before removing the ovarian cyst that is supposedly causing her profuse bleeding and abdominal pains.
When asked about Napoles’condition, Peralta said her blood sugar level is still high but she is “doing okay.” But he added that surgery cannot be performed with her condition at present.
In the absence of complications after surgery, Peralta said Napoles may be discharged from the hospital in five days.
Afterward, Napoles will be brought back to Fort Santo Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where she has been detained for the serious illegal detention case filed against her by pork scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.