PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, August 17, 2016 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Rowley, has returned home from the United States, where he underwent medical tests that have led to widespread rumours about the state of his health.
While there has been no official statement indicating his return, media reports said that he did so on Tuesday.
Acting Prime Minister, Colm Imbert, last week hinted that Rowley would answer questions about his health upon his return.
“The Prime Minister would like all questions relating to his overseas travels to be directed to him,” Imbert told reporters at last week Thursday’s Cabinet news conference.
Prime Minister Rowley, 66, who has ended a two-week vacation, has acknowledged that for the past 35 years he has managed his health issues through diligent and disciplined guidance from his chosen doctors at home and in California.
“I have been regularly, even annually, reviewed by them over the years. This occasion is hardly different, except that as a result of the intensity of my activities during the last 36 months or so, I have not kept my annual appointments until recently.
“I did my examinations locally and the results were transmitted to my doctors abroad. There have appeared to be some changes which both sets of doctors conclude should be investigated further. That is what I am here for, and that is what I have referred to, when I spoke to the public about travel and health, as well as vacation,” Rowley said prior to his departure.
“The various procedures and processes should take about a week and I expect to return home as soon as it is completed and I am able to travel,” he said, noting that ”for me and my family, my health and choices on matters remain personal, even when one is a public figure.
But the main opposition United National Congress (UNC) and the Congress of the People (COP) have called on Rowley to disclose the nature of his illness.
However Rowley has gotten support from former prime minister, Basdeo Panday, who during his first term in office, had travelled to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.