Prime Minister David Thompson (right) is pictured making a statement to the press today at Ilaro Court. His personal physician, Dr. Jerry Ishmael, is at left.

Prime Minister David Thompson has been experiencing stomach pains over the last few weeks, is currently undergoing tests, and as a result, his workload is being reduced.

Mr. Thompson made this announcement today during a press briefing at his official residence, Ilaro Court. He was accompanied by his personal physician, Dr. Richard Ishmael.

The Prime Minister said: "Since about early March of this year, I have been suffering with some stomach pains, which really led to consultations with my personal physician who has worked with me since 1991, Dr. Richard Ishmael. I had tests done here and also travelled with him to the United States of America to New York, where some additional tests were done."

Mr. Thompson added: "I obviously sought what one might call sick leave, and took some time off and of course in that period of time, as is usual in our constitutional system, the Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados would have acted as Prime Minister."

He further noted that: "The process is such that some of those tests and others are going to continue. And it may necessitate over the next month, or so, or even perhaps longer, me having to be out of Barbados for a longer period than would normally be the case." The Prime Minister gave the assurance that as a result of his illness, the "usual arrangements would be put in place".

In turn, Dr. Ishmael stated that following preliminary tests in Barbados, he decided that " it was the best thing" to have the Prime Minister’s condition evaluated by a specialist at New York Presbyterian hospital, which he declared as "one of the best hospitals in the world".

He revealed that Mr. Thompson had a number of tests done over the last week or so. However, he announced that in spite of this, "we don’t have a concrete diagnosis yet".

The physician further disclosed that the Prime Minister returned home a few days ago, but would be returning to New York "in the middle or end of next week to have some more tests" [done].

He indicated that "at this particular point in time within…the next two or so weeks, we should be able to have a definitive diagnosis."

The Prime Minister disclosed at that time "we would make whatever information is necessary available".

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