Routine medical exam reveals nothing amiss with Netanyahu's health

Routine medical exam rev

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who turns 60 on October 21, emerged with a clean bill of health after two minor invasive procedures at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem on Sunday. A year ago, a benign polyp was found in his colon and removed, according to Prof. Eran Goldin of the gastroenterology department. During the 20-minute procedure on Sunday, including a colonoscopy and cystoscope exam, no polyps were found. The prime minister, said Goldin, recovered quickly from mild anesthesia and a half-hour later was driven home. Prof. Dov Podeh, head of urology, conducted the cytoscope exam and found that everything was normal. Twenty-seven years ago, a benign polyp was removed from Netanyahu's bladder, thus he is obligated to undergo an examination from time to time. The physicians made a statement to the press, but no further questions were answered. Netanyahu's office managed to handle the news of the prime minister's brief hospitalization without causing a scandal, unlike a June 21 incident when he came late to a cabinet meeting due to a foreign object in his eye. In that incident, Netanyahu's office at first announced he would be skipping the cabinet meeting without giving a reason, causing vast speculation. The Prime Minister's Office added fuel to the fire when it announced that Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon would chair the meeting instead of Netanyahu, in a rare breech of government protocol. This time, Netanyahu's office learned from that incident. It released a statement with full details before 7 a.m. He was home two hours later. "The thinking was that full transparency was necessary," Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz said. "I spoke to the prime minister's doctor and we gave reporters all the information." Former prime minister Ariel Sharon was accused of hiding information about his health before two strokes ended his political career. Since then, politicians have been pressured to provide full disclosure to the public about their health. Sharon's associates said that one issue that stressed Sharon when he was due to undergo surgery following his first stroke was the appointment of a temporary prime minister in his stead. Netanyahu has done everything possible to avoid appointing a temporary prime minister, except when absolutely necessary. Unlike Sharon and Olmert, he did not appoint a permanent vice prime minister during coalition talks. The two vice premiers, Ya'alon and Silvan Shalom, alternately fill in for Netanyahu when he goes abroad. In consultations on Friday, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz told cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser that it was not legally required to appoint a temporary replacement for a procedure that would take under half an hour. "We followed all the proper procedures according to the law," Hefetz said.