Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said his Government will need to exercise restraint as it prepares for the upcoming 2017/2018 Budget.
However, he again gave no indication as to the size of the fiscal package.
Speaking to reporters during a health fair at Diego Martin Boys’ RC School, in his constituency, Rowley said the country’s dire economic circumstances demanded that the Government be prudent and disciplined in its approach.
“There has to be discipline. As much as we would like to do a lot of things, we have to do the things that must be done,” he said.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced shortly before the proroguing of Parliament on Friday that the fiscal package, the third of the Rowley administration, will be delivered on October 2 at the International Waterfront Complex, Port-of-Spain.
Last year, the Ministries of National Security and Education received the heftiest allocations.
Turning his attention to the health fair, the Prime Minister said an individual’s health was important to their well-being.
“Health, in general, is so important. It is natural wealth,” he said. “This fair is important because, firstly it awakens people to pay attention to their health and, also, not just to pay attention but to manage their health.”
Urging citizens to pay close attention to their health, Rowley said similar events have already been held in Carenage and other parts of his constituency.
He said a fair also was being planned for La Puerta in the not-too-distant future.
“So, it is bringing health care to the communities, adding to what is already there. But, in this case, we get to bring in a number of specialists and health care givers and have lectures to encourage them to take care of their health.”
Rowley said preventive arrangements in dealing with one’s health can be of tremendous economic benefit “not just only to yourself but the nation as a whole.”
“If you manage to intervene and preserve your health, there are only benefits to be had.”
Yesterday’s event featured a walkathon from the Merrytones Panyard, Bagatelle Corner to Diego Martin Boys’ RC School.
Constituents were able to access blood pressure and glucose tests, pap smears, prostate examinations, ear, nose and throat check-ups, eye tests and mental health evaluations.
Several health organisations, including the Advanced Cardiovascular Institute, Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society, Newtown Medical Centre, Ministry of Health, AA Laquis, Family Planning Association and the North West Regional Health Authority, participated in the event.