An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rejoined the medical register as a doctor and will work one day a week in that capacity, according to a spokesperson for his office.
Varadkar was removed from the register back in 2013, after previously working as a doctor for seven years before pursuing a career in politics. He was a junior doctor in Dublin before becoming a qualified GP in 2010.
“Many of his family and friends are working in the health service. He wanted to help out even in a small way,” the spokesperson said. Varadkar’s partner, Matthew, Barrett is a cardiologist, his father is a GP and his mother was a nurse.
The Irish Times reported that Varadkar will carry out phone assessments for people suffering symptoms of COVID-19. “He has offered his services to the HSE for one session a week in areas that are within his scope of practice,” the spokesperson said.
The Fine Gael leader re-registering with the HSE follows the Minister for Health Simon Harris’ launch of a recruitment drive. The HSE said it got more than 70,000 responses for its “Be on call for Ireland” initiative. At the end of March, Harris announced that 262 nurses and 63 doctors had been hired in recent days.
Government formation talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have escalated in the last few weeks. The coalition could see Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin rotating the position of Taoiseach. However, several smaller parties have ruled out joining a coalition, with Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy saying as much back in February. Meanwhile, the Green Party has similarly dismissed the idea of a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil coalition and has instead called for a national unity government while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
However, both Varadkar and Martin have said they will not enter government with Sinn Féin, who won 37 seats in the last election – more than at any other point in their history.
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.