Defence Minister Linda Reynolds was admitted to hospital on Wednesday morning for a pre-existing medical condition.
A statement said the move was advised by her cardiologist as a ‘precautionary measure.’
It comes after her former staffer Brittany Higgins, 24, alleged she was raped in the minister’s office by another staffer in 2019.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has been admitted to hospital for a pre-existing medical condition
Senator Reynolds has been under scrutiny for how she handled the matter, which was not made public until last week.
Health Minister Greg Hunt suggested the illness may be stress-related.
‘We have to remind ourselves that this is the most intense, arguably, environment in Australia,’ he told reporters.
‘All of us need to be aware of the pressures and pains, the impact of each of us on each other… she is a good person and so she needs our support as she has our support,’ he added.
Alleged rape survivor Brittany Higgins
Scott Morrison has phoned Senator Reynolds to wish her a quick recovery.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne has taken over Defence duties while Senator Reynolds is on leave.
Since Ms Higgins made her allegation public last week, three other women have come forward to accuse the same man of sexual assault or harassment.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Philip Gaetjens is looking into when the prime minister’s office knew about the alleged rape of Ms Higgins.
Mr Gaetjens was Mr Morrison’s chief of staff between 2015 and 2018.
Government Senate leader Simon Birmingham is working with parties from across the political divide on an investigation into the workplace culture of parliament.
Mr Morrison said he expected the findings would be made public after a quick but thorough inquiry.
Liberal MP Celia Hammond’s review of Liberal Party culture will be absorbed into the cross-party probe.
But the prime minister is refusing to say whether the Gaetjens review of his own office will be released until he reads its contents.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has called for the review to be made public while also criticising the independence of the former senior Liberal staffer.
‘After sports rorts I have zero confidence in any process led by Phil Gaetjens,’ Mr Albanese told a caucus meeting.
Mr Morrison denies he sees the issue as a distraction.
‘I wouldn’t accept that suggestion for a second. They’re important issues and we are addressing them,’ he told reporters.
The Greens are pushing for the cross-party inquiry to be conducted by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins with input from former staffers.
Brittany Higgins is pictured with Scott Morrison in the run up to the 2019 election
Cabinet minister Greg Hunt is confident the multiple inquiries will achieve results.
‘There will be very clear change and they will be improved systems, and I think that that’s an important thing,’ he said.
Cabinet minister Michaelia Cash, who employed Ms Higgins after the May 2019 election, insists she wasn’t told the incident was an alleged sexual assault.
In October, a media query about the incident was lodged with Senator Cash’s office.
‘She was very concerned that she was going to become a story. It was actually about her job and nothing more,’ Senator Cash said.