Irish Prime Minister to work one shift a week as a doctor

Photo: EPP (CC BY 2.0)

Leo Varadkar qualified as a general practitioner before entering politics. Now the taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, he'll be going back to his old job one day a week.

The Irish Times, which first reported the story, said the taoiseach was understood to be doing phone assessments, in keeping with the protocol to advise people who could be infected over the phone rather than in person. Varadkar’s father Ashok, an Indian immigrant, was a GP and his mother Miriam was a nurse. His partner Matthew Barrett is a cardiologist.

He has won plaudits from across the political spectrum for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Ireland adopted early restrictions and appears to have avoided an unmitigated pandemic, though cases are expected to surge this week.

Photo: EPP (CC BY 2.0)