September 19, 2019 13:07
Ex-President Park Geun-hye's furlough for a shoulder operation at St. Mary's Hospital in Seoul is expected to cost more than W300 million in medical fees alone (US$=W1,193).
Former presidents are entitled to free treatment at state hospitals, but not if they were removed from office. Some die-hard supporters of the jailbird ex-leader are apparently putting together a collection because she has spent most of her ill-gotten gains on legal fees and fines.
Park had shoulder surgery on Tuesday morning and is now laid up in a VIP suite at St. Mary's that costs a cool W3.27 million a day. She is expected to remain in hospital for two to three months for rehab, which would bring the bill for the room alone to W294.3 million.
Park's remaining assets are estimated at around W3.6 billion, but they were frozen when she was convicted of taking bribes and embezzling National Intelligence Service funds last year.
Hospital sources say Park may be transferred to a smaller VIP room. One staffer said, "We have even smaller rooms, but they are unsuitable because of all the healthcare and law enforcement officials accompanying her."
A smaller VIP room measuring around 100 sq.m, which is still the size of a small house, costs W1.62 million a day.
Park has had treatment for back pain around a dozen times since she was jailed in February 2017. The costs were apparently paid either by her or her former attorney, Yoo Yeong-ha.
Yoo received W1 billion in cash from Park as a retainer, which thereby escaped confiscation.
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