Argentine President Cristina Fernández left on Friday for Santa Cruz province to her home in El Calafate to spend the New Year celebrations with her son Máximo, daughter Florencia and other family members. Next Wednesday she is scheduled to undergo thyroid cancer surgery.
On Thursday Cristina Fernandez maintained a tight schedule, meeting with Vice-president Amado Boudou -whom will assume the presidential role in her absence while she undergoes surgery-, and with ministers Julio De Vido, Arturo Puricelli as well as secretaries José López (Public Works), Juan Pablo Schiavi (Transport) and Oscar Parrilli.
The President is expected to return to Buenos Aires by Monday. Upon her return, the head of state will officially begin her leave of absence to undergo surgery on Wednesday at the Austral Hospital in Pilar for the cancerous tumour that was found in the area of her thyroid gland.
The surgeon who will be operating on the President next week, Pedro Saco, assured that it is “an honour” for him to be able to assist the President and stated that he will carry out “normal procedures, as with all cases.” He went on to say that, “doctors are very professional, and in fact the most important thing to us professionalism”.
“She will come out of surgery fine. Yes, as we all hope and wish”, said Dr Saco who refused to reveal his conversation with the President.
“Please be respectful of the intimacy between doctors and their patients. It’s a very special situation and there’s not much else to say”, said Dr. Saco who is considered an outstanding professional and specialist in Head and Collar oncology surgery.
After a few days in hospital the Argentine president will spend the rest of her convalescence, estimated in three weeks at her family home in El Calafate.
Her New Year trip to Rio Gallegos was programmed for Thursday but had to be postponed due to the conflicts in Santa Cruz province, the political turf of the Kirchners, where Governor Daniel Peralta was unable to pass next year’s budget with drastic cuts and savings
On Thursday the provincial legislature never got to vote on the issue and lawmakers had to be escorted out of the building by the police when protestors with stones and sticks tried to storm the chamber. At least 23 people were injured mostly police officers, and following the violent protest several leading members of Governor Peralta’s cabinet plus the provincial police chief resigned.