Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Prime Minister, has rejoined the country’s medical registry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to help the country heal. He will work one medical shift a week for the Health Service Executive (HSE), a publicly-funded health service whose task is to “provide all of Ireland’s public health services in hospitals and communities across the country”.
The current outbreak is placing a so-far-unequaled strain on health systems around the world. In the face of this viral onslaught, the HSE has asked all healthcare professionals who are not currently, actively working in the medical field to register and help the country heal.
Doctors in high places
Leo Varadkar, the country’s Prime Minister, studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and spent several years as a non-consultant hospital doctor, eventually qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010 before his political career — and he has also answered the call for help.
The politician will work one medical shift a week for the HSE, a spokesperson for his office said on Sunday.
“Dr Varadkar rejoined the medical register last month,” the unnamed spokesperson told The Guardian. “He has offered his services to the HSE for one session a week in areas that are within his scope of practice. Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way.”
According to The Irish Times, the Prime Minister will be doing phone assessments rather than in-person consultations in keeping with current anti-outbreak measures. Unlike their neighbors in the UK, Ireland adopted early restrictions against the pandemic and they appear to have mitigated the worst of its effects, although a surge in cases is expected later this week, The Guardian concludes.