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Irish doctor quits Australia job to come home and help fight virus



Heading home: Greystones native Dr Paddy Barry is leaving Australia

Heading home: Greystones native Dr Paddy Barry is leaving Australia

Heading home: Greystones native Dr Paddy Barry is leaving Australia

An Irish doctor living in Australia has told how he is uprooting his life and returning home to help out on the frontline in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

Dr Paddy Barry (25), from Greystones, Co Wicklow, is among thousands who have responded to the HSE's recruitment drive for extra medical staff.

Dr Barry and his partner, Erika, have been scrambling since Thursday to book flights, pack up everything they own and leave their jobs to return home from Perth.

He said the move home was a last-minute decision he made after seeing how quickly the outbreak was progressing throughout the country.

"It was on Wednesday we started thinking about maybe we should come back and help, and on Thursday we started noticing all borders are closing," Dr Barry told the Irish Independent.

"When it started in Ireland, it seemed like there were a few cases. We're always talking every second or third day to our parents and friends back home so you're not getting constant updates unless you're actually following it on the news.

"It kind of started progressing very fast like it always does because it's doubling every two to three days or so. It starts off with a few cases, less than 100, and then once it kind of catches over the hundred mark it just starts increasing rapidly.

"So, the problem with that is it gives you very little time to decide if we should come back or not.

"We just said during a time like this when you had Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris appealing to people to come home, you just kind of have to answer the call and come back."

The Trinity graduate had been working as a senior house officer at Royal Perth Hospital before having to formally resign and forfeit his visa in order to come back to Ireland.

"I went into work on Thursday at 4pm, and I basically asked would it be OK if I was to go home for a few months. Obviously they can't really hold the position so I had to formally resign."

Irish Independent