Ireland’s prime minister Leo Varadkar will be returning to medical practice to work as a doctor as the country battles the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, his office confirmed to ABC News.
Varadkar re-joined Ireland’s medical registry in March and offered his services to Ireland’s Health Service Executive, a spokesman for the office of the prime minister told the news outlet.
The prime minister left the medical profession in 2013 after working as a doctor for seven years. By 2017, he’d become the country’s youngest-ever prime minister.
Varadkar’s husband, Matthew Barrett, is a cardiologist. His two sisters and their husbands, also work in the health services.
“Dr. Varadkar rejoined the Medical Register last month. 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,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.
Ireland’s health service issued an appeal last month for former healthcare professionals to register to be available during the epidemic, which is expected to put a huge strain on the country’s hospitals.
In three days, 50,000 people responded to the call, according to the national broadcaster RTE.ie.
Varadkar will reportedly begin work one shift a week helping assess suspected COVID-19 patients over the phone.
Ireland’s current count of recorded COVID-19 cases stands at 9,655. The country also recorded 334 deaths as of Sunday evening.