Speaking to the University College Cork medicine graduates of 2020, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that every graduate of medicine will be offered an internship within the health system.
In an effort to battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, medical students have had their exams brought forward and are graduating early, to ensure there are enough doctors working in the health system to help fight against the virus.
In a pre-recorded message, Varadkar said "you're graduating early, and you're doing so without being able to celebrate with your friends and your families as I know you'd like to. But there will be a time for that in the months ahead, when we develop new treatments, a new vaccine, a much better and more effective testing and contact tracing regime.
“In the meantime, we need you to graduate early, and to start work as interns already, because there's so much work to be done. I know you will be starting in posts in the middle of May, in hospitals, and also some of you in community settings, and for the first time ever, we are providing for over 1,000 internships for medical graduates in Ireland. That pretty much means that everyone graduating this year will be offered an internship."
The announcement comes as the number of new cases continues to rise, as frontline nurses have raised serious concerns over the Irish government's handling of the crisis. Speaking to the Irish Examiner, one nurse said that "The official numbers are hilarious," and that according to her and those who are working with her in the hospital, the number of patients with COVID-19 are approximately three times as high as what is being reported.