Ex-president to hire private caregiver

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) Former President Chen Shui-bian, who is serving a 20-year prison term for corruption, has decided to engage the services of a private caregiver for post-surgery care, as recommended by Taipei Veterans General Hospital, his family doctors said Wednesday. The doctors said that after Chen's scheduled surgery on Thursday for the treatment of hemorrhoids, he would require close attention because he also has the complication of a fractured coccyx. Chen, who has been hospitalized since last September, suffered the fracture when he fell a few days ago. His private medical team, hired by his family, said his hemorrhoids have been bleeding, which has led to a drop in his red blood cell count. The hospital therefore recommended surgery to treat the condition and advised that the ex-president employ a personal caregiver to help look after him, the medical team said. Chen has been under care at Taipei Veterans General Hospital for the past six months, reportedly for depression and other health problems. (By Justin Su and Elizabeth Hsu)