LEO VARADKAR is eager to lend a hand to Ireland’s efforts to vaccinate the general population against Covid-19.
The Tanaiste worked as a doctor for seven years before embarking on a career in politics.
Last April he re-joined the medical register and was subsequently spotted assisting with coronavirus testing in Blanchardstown, north Dublin.
Now the former Taoiseach is ready to lend his invaluable services to Ireland’s vaccination programme, which was outlined earlier this week.
Under the planned timeline, everyone in Ireland will be offered a Covid-19 vaccine by September at the latest and the Fine Gael leader is “more than willing” to help out.
Speaking Newstalk's The Hard Shoulder, Varadkar acknowledged that while he’s “not qualified” for critical care, he’s ready and willing to help if the HSE needs him.
"Well, I am available,"” He said.
“The medical council extended my registration and that of other non-practicing doctors
"So, I've said to the HSE that I'm available certainly to help with the vaccine clinics if they need me.
"I'd be more than willing to do it.
"I know I'm part of a group of 150 or so non-practicing retired GPs who are willing to do it.”
The Tanaste noted that while he’s unlikely to get the call-up just yet, he could be recruited in the next couple of weeks once more vaccines are approved and available.
"They don't need us yet because there aren't enough vaccines in the country but we might get to that point in the next couple of weeks and I'm certainly available.
"I know it's not the kind of frontline work in ICU or HDU which I'd like to be doing but to be honest, I'm out of date and I'm not qualified for that but I would be qualified in some areas and happy to help out there."
Varadkar studied medicine in Trinity College and spent four years working across a number of prominent Irish hospitals including St James in Dublin, Beaumont, Blanchardstown, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Holles Street, Tallaght, Navan and Wexford.
A former Health Minister, medicine was in Varadkar’s blood.
His father, Ashok Varadkar, moved from India to the UK to work as a doctor.
Ashok met Leo’s mum, Miriam Howell, a nurse from Ireland, while working in Slough. They moved to Ireland before Leo was born.