LONDON: Ireland’s Indian-origin Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, has rejoined the country’s medical register to take on his former role as a doctor on the frontlines of the Irish health service tackling the COVID-19 crisis.
According to ”The Irish Times”, the Taoiseach – as the Irish Prime Minister is known – rejoined the medical register back in March, just as the pandemic hit Ireland.
Varadkar, 41, is set to work within the country’s Health Service Executive (HSE), providing essential over-the-phone assessments to anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to coronavirus.
“Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way,” said a spokesperson for his office.
As a former general practitioner, Varadkar studied medicine and worked as a doctor for seven years before he became Ireland’s youngest and first openly gay Prime Minister in 2017.
He kept his Indian connect alive over the years, completing an internship at the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, and was last registered as a doctor in Ireland in 2013.
His partner, Matthew Barrett, as well as his two sisters and their husbands all work within Ireland’s health service.
According to the Irish newspaper, the Taoiseach will lend his services for one shift per week alongside his role as Ireland’s current leader during the COVID-19 crisis.
He is among nearly 50,000 people who answered an appeal from the Health Service Executive (HSE) urging any and all healthcare professionals, not currently working in the sector, to register and provide vital support during the crisis.
Under the current HSE rules, anyone who suspects they have been exposed to the virus must first undergo a phone assessment to help curb the spread of the deadly viral infection.