May 08, 2018

Bob Hawke, 88, admitted to hospital in Sydney

Former prime minister Bob Hawke has been admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

Mr Hawke will be undergoing some minor tests, a spokesperson said. Reports he had suffered a stroke or had pneumonia were denied. Mr Hawke was experiencing nothing more than a case of “the wobbles”, the spokesperson said.

No more is known of Mr Hawke’s condition, other than he cancelled dinner plan on the weekend because he was not feeling up to it.

Mr Hawke turned 88 last December.

Australia’s most electorally successful Labor leader

Mr Hawke is the most electorally successful Labor leader in Australian history. Australia’s 23rd prime minister, he held office from 1983 until 1991, and led Labor to four federal election victories.

He began his career as a union official.

Mr Hawke’s greatest political achievement was creating Medicare, forming APEC, and introducing a universal superannuation scheme.

He remains actively involved in Labor politics, having flown to Western Australia only last week to watch former Labor leader Kim Beazley be sworn in as Governor of Western Australia. He attended the event in a wheelchair, carrying a walking stick.

Previous brushes with serious illness

Mr Hawke has had other brushes with serious illness. In 2011 he was hospitalised with severe pneumonia. In 2015 he nearly died from an illness he contracted in the Middle East.

Mr Hawke’s wife, Blanche d’Alpuget, told The Daily Telegraph last night her husband was “ok”.

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