The Congress of the People says it is okay with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley going on vacation.
The party is, however, taking issue with Dr Rowley's decision to seek medical attention out of the country.
The Prime Minister leaves on Thursday for Los Angeles.
The following is the COP's statement on the issue:
"Official releases from the Office of the Prime Minister have confirmed earlier announcements by the Prime Minister at a PNM party event last week, that Dr. Rowley will be proceeding on vacation from Thursday. The Office of the PM has also confirmed that the Prime Minister will also undergo "a medical examination in the United States" during his trip.
"The Congress of the People has no issue with the Prime Minister proceeding on his vacation leave. Rest and recreation are an important part of life for anyone who works. Where the Prime Minister chooses to spend his vacation is also a decision for him." COP Political Leader, Dr. Anirudh Mahabir commented this morning.
"What is of concern to us is the fact that the Prime Minister is going for a medical examination outside of Trinidad and Tobago. While a person's choice of medical practitioner is a personal decision, the fact that the Head of Government has decided to have what appears to be a fairly routine medical examination done outside of our nation's health system sends the wrong signals about his confidence in our health services." Dr. Mahabir added.
"This decision of the Prime Minister is troubling particularly as his administration has been promoting health tourism as part of our country's economic diversification and future thrust. It also must be of concern to the citizens who have to rely on the public health service for the Head of the Cabinet which gives policy direction to the Health Services to act in a manner which may signal a lack of confidence in the very health service by his choice." the COP Leader continued.
"The choice of the PM of having a medical examination abroad is in stark contrast to the recent treatment of several of his Ministers for a variety of ailments at local hospitals. It also begs the question as to whether the bill for the PM's medical examination is to be met from Government funds." Dr. Mahabir asked.
"Despite recent challenges, our health service is an important element in the guarantee of citizens' right to health and health care which must be fulfilled by the state. Government must not only provide the resources and direction for the continuous improvement of our health services, it must also demonstrate its confidence in the quality of service provided." The COP Leader concluded."
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