Today marks day 218 of our father, DS Anwar Ibrahim’s imprisonment as a political prisoner.
We are extremely upset with the mistreatment and unconscionable delays faced in obtaining medical treatment for his injuries, which has worsened his condition since he was first incarcerated on February 10th 2015. Our father has complained since early March on the pain he is suffering on his right shoulder. To this date more than 6 months later his pain has worsened, as he faces constant pain due to the spread of the existing injury to both shoulders.
We met with our father again yesterday during our scheduled once in three weeks visit in Sungai Buloh Prison.
We are deeply worried and anxious, as we were informed by our father that he is in need of urgent surgery.
The options put forward by the specialists who last met with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were either microsurgery or shoulder replacement surgery. They were clear in saying that other options including steroid injection were not sufficient; or continuing intensive physiotherapy and strong analgesics is not likely done in prison, as has been the case since Datuk Seri Anwar’s incarceration.
With such clearcut recommendations, we are therefore aghast by the denial of urgent hospitalization by the medical coordinator appointed by the Minister of Health – Dato Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai. Neither has there been any briefing to the family on DSAI’s latest medical condition by the panel of medical experts tasked to organize his medical care.
It must be noted that Dr Jeyaindran was the physician who coordinated Datuk Seri Anwar’s medical needs during his earlier imprisonment between 1999-2004. He was also the then Attorney General’s main prosecution witness against Datuk Seri Anwar in the Sodomy 2 trial, and the personal physician of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Last Friday, the family had sought the assistance of the Director General of Health Malaysia, Dato Noor Hisham Abdullah to raise concerns on the ongoing delays and lack of physiotherapy, which was recommended by the doctors treating Datuk Seri Anwar.
We are disappointed that the DG is using a three month old report and recommendations provided by Dr Jeya.
Mainly Dr Jeya has stuck to the view that DSAI should only depend on intensive physiotherapy and strong analgesics. It bears reminding that such recommendations , such as physiotherapy, not only was not implemented daily , but only took place once a month! Worse, actual sessions did not even cover proper and holistic physiotherapy – considering the lack of facilities in prison.
The authorities – under Dr. Jeya’s care are unreasonable in refusing to send DSAI to hospital to undergo physiotherapy. DSAI had in his past imprisonment (1999-2004) been allowed frequent physiotherapy or other treatments at HKL and/or PPUM.
We ask that immediate attention be given to the pending request for a briefing session to be held between the family, the panel of doctors and DSAI as the patient so that he can make the decisions as to the kind of surgery he needs to undergo.
We put the authorities on notice that the family of DSAI will not entertain any more deliberate delay and unprofessional behaviour on the part of Dr. Jeya with regard to the urgent medical treatment needed for DSAI. If this persists, we will take all necessary actions to protect our father’s medical rights including the filing of an official complaint against Dr Jeya with the Malaysian Medical Council if necessary.
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Member of Parliament, Lembah Pantai
KEADILAN Vice President Elect & Election Director