Ona, Horn lock horns over GMA treatment

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2011 09:17 PM | Updated as of Nov 06 2011 02:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Health Secretary Enrique Ona will let former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s doctors decide if she will seek treatment overseas or not.

Ona was asked repeatedly if the government can refer a doctor for Arroyo.

Arroyo’s camp claims that no specialists are available in the country for her hypoparathyroidism and bone mineral disorder.

Arroyo’s camp said she needs a bone biopsy for the diseases, something that is allegedly not available in the country.

Ona has maintained that the procedure can be done here, though the analysis may have to be done elsewhere if the situation warrants it.

“That is for her doctors to decide. I don’t know....It is for her doctor to decide [if she will be treated here]. Di ko naman check-up yun, it's my evaluation. Hintayin na lang natin [kung] ano sasabihin ng duktor I have discussed her situation with Secretary de Lima,” Ona said.

'Name the specialists'

Arroyo’s spokesperson and chief of staff Elena Bautista-Horn had challenged the government to name the specialists who can treat Arroyo to back up their claims that her disease can be treated here.

“I challenge Secretary De Lima and Secretary Ona to give us the names of doctors who have the facility for metabolic bone biopsy and a specialist to interpret the same," she said.

Horn also urged the government to prove claims that Arroyo has other plans during her proposed medical trip.

“What other things (does Arroyo have in mind)?” Horn said. “She should prove it first.”
Horn said they have complied with all of the Department of Justice'S (DOJ) requirements to justify Arroyo’s overseas travel.

Horn said the bone biopsy needed by Arroyo can be done in the country, but that there are no doctors who can read its results in the country.

She said that Arroyo had already missed two appointments with doctors in Singapore because the government would not allow her to travel.