Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar will return to his medicinal roots to help his country fight the coronavirus.
Varadkar, who worked in medicine for seven years before entering politics, has reregistered as a doctor and will work one shift a week with Ireland’s Health Service Executive.
The 40-year-old will reportedly help assess patients who have been exposed to the coronavirus over the phone.
“Many of his family and friends are working in the health service,” a spokesman for the premier’s office told Reuters on Sunday. “He wanted to help out even in a small way.”
The prime minister (or “taoiseach”) graduated from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Medicine in 2003, later qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010. He was removed from the medical register in 2013, about two years after he was appointed Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Many of Varadkar’s family members, including his mother and father, have worked in medicine. His longtime partner, Matt Barrett, is a cardiologist.
In recent weeks, the Irish government issued a callout for retired or unregistered medical professionals to return to work to help treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, there were reportedly more than 5,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ireland, and 174 deaths.