PM stays in US for medical check-up

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses the Ninth Summit of the Americas at Los Angeles, USA on Friday.

THE Prime Minister has remained in the United States for a routine medical check-up.

Dr Rowley, 73, left TT on June 6 to attend the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California. The summit ended on Friday.

Foreign and Caricom Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)Stuart Young were part of the delegation which Rowley led. Browne and Young were scheduled to return home late Sunday night.

In a statement on Sunday, the OPM said Rowley will be staying in California.

“Dr Rowley is scheduled to undergo routine medical testing in the coming weeks which includes cardiac and prostate analysis.”

Senior government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Rowley is in good health, and the tests he will undergo are ones he has done in the past.

In March 2019, Rowley went to California for heart tests, after a plaque build-up was found in one of his arteries in an earlier check-up in 2016. The 2016 visit included tests for prostate cancer, for which he was given a clean bill of health. Rowley got another clean bill of health from tests done in 2019.

He previously said the doctors in California had been treating him for nearly three decades. Rowley did not go to California for any medical check-ups over the last two years because of the covid19 pandemic.

Last January, Rowley was warded briefly at the West Shore Private Medical Hospital, Cocorite, after complaining of discomfort.

At that time, Young said this was a precautionary measure by Rowley who decided to seek medical attention and have a check-up. He was later determined to be in good health and discharged from the hospital.

On Saturday, Browne described the summit as very productive for TT. He attributed this success to Rowley leading from the front.

He praised Rowley’s “display of majestic statesmanship during his contributions to an intense Caricom caucus meeting on Wednesday (June 8).”

He said Rowley performed at the same level on June 9 during his presentation of key perspectives and recommendations at a highly significant subsequent meeting on June 8 with Caribbean leaders, US President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris

Finance Minister Colm Imbert will continue to act as prime minister until Rowley returns. This means Imbert will answer prime minister’s questions when the House of Representatives sits at 1.30 pm on Monday.

This will be the second sitting of the House for the month. Prime minister’s questions are always held then in accordance with the standing orders.

Imbert will also open debate on the Bills of Exchange (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the Insurance (Amendment) Bill, 2022, later in the sitting.

The Senate sits at 1.30 pm on Tuesday to continue its committee deliberations on the Miscellaneous Provisions (Local Government Reform) Bill, 2020. The House passed the bill on May 23.