February 23, 2017 / 7:37 PM / 3 years ago

Austrian Health Minister Oberhauser dies

File photo: New Austrian Health Minister Sabine Oberhauser waits for her inauguration at the presidential office in Vienna September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria’s minister for health and women, Sabine Oberhauser, has died, a statement by the chancellor said on Thursday of the 53-year-old who had suffered from abdominal cancer.

Oberhauser became a minister in the Social Democrat-Christian Conservative coalition government of then-Chancellor Werner Faymann in 2014 and continued as health minister when Christian Kern took over the coalition in 2016.

With a background as a unionist, she was a defender of women’s rights and in 2016 assumed the role of minister for women at a time when she already knew of her illness, which she spoke about openly while she continued ministerial duties.

On Feb. 15, Oberhauser, who was also a trained paediatrician, said her Social Democrat Party colleague Minister of Social Affairs Alois Stoeger would stand in for her while she recovered from peritonitis.

“Whoever was lucky enough to get to know Sabine Oberhauser, knew a woman who stood by her values and convictions,” Kern said in the statement.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Alison Williams

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