Concerns for health of former PM Bob Hawke

Bob Hawke's representatives denied reports he had suffered a stroke.

Bob Hawke's representatives denied reports he had suffered a stroke. Photo: Getty

There’s ongoing concern about the health of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke who was admitted to a Sydney hospital on Monday night.

Former Labor senator Same Dastyari conceded he was worried for Mr Hawke’s welfare, telling Sydney radio station KIIS FM on Tuesday about a conversation with the former PM’s wife Blanche d’Alpuget on the weekend.

“The reality is he’s 88, and when you’re 88 and get rushed to hospital, people are worried and there is reason to be worried,” Mr Dastyari said.

“I was actually meant to be having dinner with Bob and Blanche at this great restaurant in Sydney on Saturday night. And Saturday afternoon, Blanche calls and says ‘look, Bob’s just not feeling up to it, can’t do dinner tonight and can we do it another time’.”

Mr Hawke remained at the Royal North Shore Hospital on Tuesday morning, with The Australian reporting that Mr Hawke was undergoing “minor tests”.

A Labor spokesman told that newspaper: “I can confirm on background that Bob is fine. (He’s) just in hospital for some minor tests, nothing serious.”

Mr Hawke’s representatives have denied he has more concerning health problems, but have not elaborated on the reason for his hospitalisation.

The hospital has declined to comment on Mr Hawke’s medical condition.

Mr Hawke’s wife, Blanche d’Alpuget, would only confirm to the Daily Telegraph on Monday night that her husband was “OK”.

“I understand it’s a relatively minor incident, what’s been called the wobbles, which I imagine when you’re 88 is something which would concern you,” Labor MP Chris Bowen told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

Most importantly the entire Labor family, everyone in this building wishes Bob the best.”

The former ALP leader served as Australia’s 23rd prime minister from 1983-1991 and led Labor to four consecutive election victories.

Mr Hawke’s place in the Labor pantheon was formally acknowledged in 2009 when he became only the third person to be awarded national life membership of the party.

Among Mr Hawke’s major achievements while in office are the introduction of Medicare in 1984, the formation of APEC, the floating of the Australian dollar and the initiation of national superannuation.

He was also in office to announce Advance Australia Fair as the Australian national anthem.

Bob Hawke wheelchair

Mr Hawke’s attended this month’s swearing in of the WA governor. Photo: AAP

Mr Hawke was eventually replaced as prime minister by Paul Keating in late 1991. He has maintained an active role in Australian politics, attending Labor rallies and lending support to recent leaders including Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

Mr Hawke has previously spoken about how a mystery illness almost killed him in 2015.

On May 1, Mr Hawke arrived in a wheelchair to attend the swearing in of former Labor leader Kim Beazley as Governor of Western Australia in Perth.

-with AAP

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