The former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been readmitted to a hospital in Milan for scheduled medical checks, weeks after being discharged after a long stay.
The media tycoon, 86, had left San Raffaele last month after six weeks of treatment for a lung infection linked to a chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, a type of cancer that affects the white blood cells.
“Silvio Berlusconi is currently at the San Raffaele hospital to undergo scheduled tests in connection with his known hematological pathology,” the hospital bulletin, signed by Dr Alberto Zangrillo and Dr Fabio Ciceri, stated.
The hospitalisation, which came earlier than planned, was not related to “any criticality or alarm” and responded to clinical criteria of normal practice in medicine, it added.
Berlusconi served as prime minister in 1994-95, 2001-06 and 2008-11. Though he does not have a direct role in government, his Forza Italia party is a member of Giorgia Meloni’s rightwing coalition.
A source from Forza Italia said Berlusconi may spend the night in hospital, after local media reports that he would stay overnight.
B-Shares in MFE-MediaForEurope, which is controlled by the Berlusconi family, extended gains after the news and were trading up almost 5% on Friday afternoon.
Berlusconi’s health has deteriorated markedly in recent years, with open-heart surgery in 2016 and numerous hospital admissions since contracting Covid three years ago.
“Come on, Silvio,” the deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, one of Berlusconi’s main political allies, wrote in an Instagram post, commenting on the news of Berlusconi’s hospitalisation.
In a statement, Salvini, who is also transport minister, said he spoke to Berlusconi via telephone and asked for reassurance on his health.
“The two also exchanged a couple of jokes about soccer,” the statement from Salvini’s League party said.
During his previous hospitalisation Berlusconi remained politically active, appearing in two video messages this month in which he looked frail but said he was ready to return to work.
Reuters in Milan
Published: 2023-06-09 15:53:51