The coronavirus is going to prove a mighty challenge for this country but the initial signs are that we are up for it. Ireland's frontline medical staff are already being asked to go above and beyond the call of duty in the initial weeks of this crisis. More people are needed to be sure that the system can cope. That's why Health Minister Simon Harris has launched plans for a massive recruitment drive to fight Covid-19.
Dr Anthony O'Connor from the IMO's consultant committee spoke to RTÉ's Drivetime programme this evening and told presenter Mary Wilson that the recruitment drive will have an international dimension. Amazingly, 25 Irish health professionals working in Perth have resigned their positions with the intention of returning to Ireland to pitch in with the fight against the Coronavirus.
He said: "A fantastic thing I heard this morning is that an Irish doctor in Perth along with 24 of his colleagues have resigned their jobs with the intention of coming back and they're looking for a way to come back and serve their country."
"This is a generation that's often had their motivations called into question, and they're proving that they're tremendous people. We need to get the barriers out of the way and get them back home with all their overseas experience and get about helping this country in this crisis."
These guys have a sense of patriotism. They're good people. They're not in the epicentre of the pandemic like we are here in Europe. And I'm sure we're going to see more and more people in the coming days that want to get involved."
Dr O'Connor called for a 'whole of government' approach to get these medical professionals into the system as soon as possible. What an incredible act of patriotism and courage.
You can listen to the whole interview below