Qasim’s family appeals to extend his medical leave

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim being taken to Velana International Airport (VIA) by Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) officers. He was given permission to depart to Singapore on Wednesday evening.

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim being taken to Velana International Airport (VIA) by Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) officers. He was given permission to depart to Singapore on Wednesday evening.

After opposition Jumhoory Party (JP)’s leader Qasim Ibrahim’s doctors advised that his treatment will take up to three months, his family on Saturday requested the Maldivian authorities to extend his 10 day medical leave to Singapore.

The opposition leader’s son Yaqsan Qasim sent a letter to the Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Shihan detailing his father’s condition and the immediate tests and procedures that he requires.

Qasim, who is being treated at Singapore’s prestigious Paragon Medical, has a coronary angiogram scheduled before his angioplasty at Mount Elizabeth Hospital on Friday, his son said in the letter.

Yaqsan also noted how his father’s doctors have advised to keep him under observation for three months to avoid further complications. Therefore, he requested Shihan to extend his father’s medical leave till December 2017.

Qasim’s lawyer Hisaan Hussain confirmed that Yaqsan had appealed to the Commissioner of Prisons on behalf of Qasim’s family, and said that the commission received the letter around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Qasim’s doctors at Paragon Medical, he has vessel coronary artery disease. This causes the main coronary arteries of the heart to narrow, and if the narrowing becomes critical, the patient can develop chest pains and shortness of breath among other symptoms.

His doctors, in writing, recommended to keep Qasim under observation before his angioplasty, and advised him not to fly out for another three months while he is recovering.

Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) had allowed Qasim to leave the country on Wednesday after weeks of hospitalisation at the state-run Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) in capital Male.

The former Maamigili MP was convicted of bribery in late August for comments he had made at an opposition rally held ahead of the opposition-lobbied censure motion against the parliament speaker in March. Qasim was slapped with a sentence of three years, two months and 12 days of imprisonment. He lost his parliament seat with the sentence.

The Criminal Court had, however, ordered authorities to make arrangements for Qasim to fly abroad for his treatment as soon as possible, after he fainted in court in his initial verdict hearing.

Throughout the opposition leader’s prolonged trial, he had to be rushed to the hospital a total of four times due to cardiac irregularities. Doctors who treated at IGMH had also advised the authorities to take him abroad as soon as possible as Qasim is in dire need of a heart procedure that is unavailable in Maldives.

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