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Coronavirus: Varadkar returns to practising medicine to help during crisis

Taoiseach rejoined medical register in March and is set to work one shift a week with HSE

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has rejoined the medical register and is to work a session a week to help out in the Coronavirus crisis, The Irish Times understands.

Mr Varadkar studied medicine and worked as a doctor for seven years before leaving the profession for politics. He was removed from the medical register in 2013.

However, he rejoined the medical register in March as the coronavirus pandemic began to hit Ireland, and is set to work within the Health Service Executive on a weekly basis, in an area suited to his qualifications.

The HSE appealed last month for all healthcare professionals not working in the profession to register in a mass recruitment drive to deal with the crisis. Some 50,000 people applied in less than three days.

It is understood the Taoiseach is helping out in phone assessments. Anyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19 is initially assessed over the phone rather than in person, to curb the spread of the virus.

The son of a doctor and a nurse, Mr Varadkar comes from a medical family.

His partner Matthew Barrett, and his two sisters and their husbands, all work in the health services.

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