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Tuesday, 25 December, 2001, 17:06 GMT
Havel leaves hospital
Czech President Vaclav Havel was reportedly diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, which was treated with minor electrical shocks
President Havel has a history of serious illness
Czech President Vaclav Havel has been released from Prague's military hospital where he spent a week being treated for pneumonia.

"The president has been without fever for the last couple of days, so doctors decided he could go home," Mr Havel's spokesman said.

It was the fourth time in a year Mr Havel, aged 65, has been hospitalised due to respiratory problems.

Once a chain smoker, he underwent a major surgery in 1996, when a third of his lung had to be removed after the discovery of a cancerous tumour.

During his latest illness, the whole of his right lung was infected, and he was treated with antibiotics.

His spokesman, Ladislav Spacek, said Mr Havel would remain under constant medical care at his official residence in Lany, outside the capital.

Mr Havel, whose second and final term ends in 2003, would be working on his New Year address to the nation, Mr Spacek added.

Regular patient

President Havel, a former anti-communist dissident and playwright, has been recently dogged by health problems, and is an increasingly regular patient at the Prague military hospital.

He last went there in October suffering from chronic bronchitis.

Some doctors say that his health problems are largely the result of spending five years in prison before the fall of communism in the former Czechoslovakia.

Mr Havel then suffered several bouts of pneumonia.

See also:

18 Dec 01 | Europe
Havel diagnosed with pneumonia
27 Sep 01 | Europe
Havel health scare over
18 Feb 01 | Europe
Havel's condition worsens
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