Begin Undergoing Tests After Mild Heart Attack; Doctor Believes He Will Recover

Premier Menachem Begin, hospitalized last night for what his doctor described as a “mild heart attack,” will undergo tests during the next few days to determine “how much damage has been done to the heart, “his physician said today. It was his second heart attack.

Dr. Mervyn Gottesman added, “I believe he will recover from this and be much better. “But he will have so remain in the hospital “for some time,” according to an official statement and he has asked Deputy Premier Yigael Yadin to take over his duties both as Premier and Defense Minister in the interim.

Begin was taken ill in the Knesset late yesterday while attending a debate on a motion to call for early elections. Shortly before the vote, in which the motion was defeated 60-54, he left the chamber escorted by Yodin and was taken by ambulance to Hadassah Hospital. Gottesman said Begin suffered slight chest pains yesterday morning which become severe by mid-afternoon. An aide to the Premier said the worst seemed over by the time he was admitted to the hospital.

REPORTED IN GOOD SPIRITS

However, he underwent blood tests, on electrocardiogram and other routine procedures for suspected heart attack victims and was placed in an intensive care unit. The Premier was reported in good spirits last night, buoyed by his government’s Knesset victory. Aides said he chatted volubly with members of his family and other visitors.

Begin, who is 66, suffered a severe heart attack in 1977 but recovered sufficiently to lead his Likud coalition to victory in the elections that May. Shortly after taking office he was hospitalized for inflammation of the pericardium, the sac containing the heart. Last summer he suffered a slight stroke which temporarily impaired his vision and power of speech, but has since recovered from those symptoms.

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