In the fight against coronavirus, everyone must do their part. And that includes people with seemingly much bigger responsibilities on their plate. Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s prime minister, has just rejoined Ireland’s medical register and will soon begin working directly with patients. Varadkar graduated from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine in 2003, and worked as a physician for seven years before pursuing politics.
Varadkar’s announcement is the most high profile example of Ireland’s initiative to recruit health professionals who aren’t working in the health sector. The campaign, spearheaded by health minister Simon Harris, is designed to grow the number of healthcare professionals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, and alleviate some of the pressure on career nurses and doctors. Over 50,000 people have already applied, according to The Irish Times.
While Varadkar won’t be in the emergency room, he will be helping with phone assessments, diagnosing potential patients over the phone to determine whether or not they have COVID-19. Phone consultations are important, as they can prevent the spread of the virus and keep hospitals from becoming overloaded.