Irish PM Leo Varadkar to return to medical practice to aid Covid-19 effort

The Irish leader worked as a doctor for seven years before becoming a politician

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Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical doctor to directly help with his country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Varadkar, who worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession to become a politician, will work one shift each week to aid in Ireland’s effort against the Covid-19 crisis.

The Irish leader, who was removed from the medical register in 2013, rejoined the profession in March to return to his practice in the face of Ireland’s mounting coronavirus emergency.

"Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way," a spokesman for the prime minister said.


Mr Varadkar comes from a medical family and has returned to his profession with thousands of others who have answered a call for eligible medics to go back to the Irish healthcare system.

Last month, Health Minister Simon Harris launched a recruitment drive for the country's struggling health service to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive said it spoke 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.

Mr Varadkar had appeared to be pushed out of government in Ireland’s most recent general election where his centre-right Fine Gael party lost 12 seats. However, as opposition parties and independents have failed to form a governing coalition, Mr Varadkar has been given a reprieve.

Fine Gael now looks poised to form a coalition with Fianna Fail. Under a likely agreement the two parties will rotate the premiership. Mr Varadkar currently heads a caretaker administration.