Ireland’s PM returns to medical practice to help in coronavirus crisis
Dublin: Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus crisis, his office says.
Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to become a politician and was removed from the medical register in 2013.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.Credit:AP
He rejoined the medical register in March, and offered his services to the country's Health Service Executive (HSE) for one session a week in areas that are within his scope of practice, a spokesman said.
"Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way," the spokesman added.
Last month, Health Minister Simon Harris launched a recruitment drive for the country's struggling health service to tackle the coronavirus outbreak with a stark message: "Your country needs you."
The HSE said it had spoken to thousands of healthcare professionals who may be eligible to return after it received more than 70,000 responses for its "Be on call for Ireland" initiative.
According to a report in the Irish Times, Dr Varadkar is helping out with phone assessments. Anybody who may have been exposed to the virus is initially assessed over the phone.
Varadkar comes from a medical family. He is the son of a doctor and a nurse and, according to the Irish Times, his partner, two sisters and their husbands all work in healthcare.
Meanwhile, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood has resigned after she broke her own advice to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by twice visiting her second home.
Police had earlier issued a warning to Calderwood about her behaviour and Sturgeon had removed her as the public face of the campaign to tackle the coronavirus.
Photographs of Calderwood visiting her east coast holiday home in Earlsferry, about an hour's drive from the capital Edinburgh, were published in the Scottish Sun.
"What I did was wrong. I'm very sorry," she said.
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