Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2016 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 28TH JUNE, 2016
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RADHICA SOOKRAJ-DE SILVA
& GAIL ALEXANDER
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has
called on the nation to pray for former
prime minister Patrick Manning who was
hospitalised after falling ill.
He made the call at the official opening
yesterday of the Ministry of Education Tower,
one of the buildings Manning had envisioned
as part of a new city landscape, on lower St
Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain.
"I want to recognise former prime minister
Patrick Manning who at this moment is not
doing as well as he would like to and let us
send him our best wishes for having the
vision and fortitude.
"I would like you, in your thoughts and
prayers, to keep him in mind," Rowley said.
The tower was opened a decade after the
Government campus was constructed under
the Patrick Manning-regime.
Approximately 800 employees are expected
to move into the building today. (See Page
A5)Three years after he suffered a stroke and
a subsequent seizure, Manning was warded
again at the San Fernando General Hospital
on Monday night after falling weak from a
low blood count.
He arrived at the Accident and Emergency
Department at around 7 pm and was kept
overnight in a private room at the new wing
of the hospital and was not allowed any vis-
itors except immediate family.
Chief Executive Officer of the South West
Regional Health Authority, Anil Gosine, con-
firmed that Manning was hospitalised but
could offer no details about his condition.
A post on his Facebook page by his wife,
former education minister Hazel Manning,
stated that he was admitted to hospital for
investigation concerning "an aberration in
his blood count."
She also wrote: "He is resting comfortably
and is in good spirits. We continue to pray
The post was shared 86 times and was
viewed by 600-plus people who offered
prayers to Manning and his family at that
One of his relatives at his San Fernando
home explained yesterday that Manning, 69,
had started running a fever following the
removal of a wisdom tooth last Friday.
"He is conscious and resting comfortably.
He is in good spirits but we are very con-
cerned. He is being watched constantly by
the doctors and medical staff. We continue
to pray for him," the relative added.
A close friend of Manning said when he
was taken to the hospital he had breathing
Another source added he underwent dental
surgery recently and lost a good deal of blood.
"We are not sure whether his condition
is related to that surgery but we are taking
no chances," the source said.
Manning, who was T&T s fourth prime
minister and served three times and has been
recognised as the longest serving MP in T&T s
history, lost his ability to speak fluently and
walk briskly after suffering a stroke in January
In February of that year, former prime
minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar approved
US$91,000 (TT$585,130) to pay for an air
ambulance to transport him to the prestigious
Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington,
DC, for additional medical treatment.
In February 2013, Manning suffered a
seizure and collapsed at his office. He has
been doing physiotherapy since then and has
regained his ability to walk and speak.
He retired from politics in February 2015
when the PNM, then led by Rowley, was
screening general election nominees for his
former San Fernando East seat. He had rep-
resented San Fernando East from 1971 to
2015 and was prime minister from 1991-95
Gonsalves in late visit
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Min-
ister Dr Ralph Gonsalves paid a late visit to
Manning last evening and reported that he
was in "good spirits."
Speaking to media camped outside the
hospital after his visit, Gonsalves, who was
on a stop over in T&T, said he felt obligated
to visit Manning since he was his brethren
and they were "very tight" from way back.
Gonsalves said he and Manning had a long
conversation about national and international
events including the UK Brexit issue as well
as on their respective health issues. He said
he found Manning to be in good spirits and
they also shared a few laughs, prompting
medical staff to wonder what all the laughter
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
via a statement yesterday, said the Opposi-
tion s prayers and thoughts were with Man-
ning and his family.
"As a former prime minister and long-
standing public servant, we have no doubt
that the nation will join us in sending prayers
and heartfelt wishes to the Manning fam-
Regional Health Authority (RHA) workers will
be getting $500 million in arrears owed by the
Government within a "day or two," Finance Min-
ister Colm Imbert said yesterday.
He confirmed that in the Senate while replying
to Opposition questions on what steps would be
taken to address the issue of money owed to health
A large number of workers demonstrated outside
the Parliament last week, demanding back pay
owed from completion of negotiations for a new
collective agreement in 2015.
The former PP government had promised to
pay it but was defeated at the polls and the PNM
Government had projected payment by month-
end. However, workers had threatened a work-
to-rule last week and further action this week if
they were not paid.
But yesterday, Imbert said he had asked min-
istries accounting units to do calculations of how
much was owed to workers in the various ministries
and Health s calculations were completed for all
RHA workers entitled to get back pay.
He said audits of the Health calculations were
also done and documents were sent to Finance
concerning the 50 per cent of arrears owed to
Imbert said Government expected to get proceeds
of a $2 billion bond raised locally by today so work-
ers could be paid immediately after, "which should
be within a day or two." He said the amount
involved for health workers arrears was $500 mil-
On Opposition questions regarding completion
of the Point Fortin Highway after OAS Constructora
is terminated from the project, Works Minister
Fitzgerald Hinds said Nidco would ensure it was
completed and was doing a determination of the
remaining works to be completed.
He said that would be divided into smaller proj-
ects, to be handled by open tender process, for
local contractors and they would continue it.
Hinds said the work would be done in two phas-
es, one involving three contracts for 12 months
and a second involving two longer-term contracts
to come in 30 months.
He said a notice of termination to OAS was
issued recently and once termination processes
were completed, Nidco would go to tender.
$500m back pay for
health workers soon
Rowley calls for prayers as...
Manning falls ill
Flashback February 2016, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, right, greets former People's
National Movement leader and prime minister Patrick Manning during the funeral service
for party stalwart Winston Moore at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in San
Fernando. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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