‘It’s my duty’: retired GP to join fight against Covid-19

A Derry doctor coming out of retirement to help battle the coronavirus crisis says she understands the health risks but insists she has a “moral and civic” duty to “help people in their time of need”.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 5:22 pm
Dr. Anne McCloskey.

Dr Anne McCloskey, who retired in 2019 after more than 25 years in general practice, says she “cannot and will not stand by and do nothing” as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread.

She said: “Medical staff, in hospitals and elsewhere, are already pushing themselves to the limit. How can I expect them to put themselves out if my family need them, if I won’t do the same for their loved ones?

“Lots of NHS staff are having to make hard choices and potentially put their families at risk, so is it fair for me to stand by and do nothing? No, it isn’t and that’s why I’ve offered to return to work and do whatever I can to help. I feel it is my moral and civic duty.”

Dr. McCloskey, who is also a member of Derry & Strabane Council, described the pandemic as “scary” and the “stuff of science fiction”.

“But we’ll get through it, however long it takes. It is crucial, however, that people follow the advice on social distancing, isolation, hygiene, etc.,”

Dr McCloskey says she has been heartened by the way in which many people in Derry have responded to the crisis.

“For example, binmen are still collecting the bins, staff are continuing to stock the shelves in supermarkets and our pharmacies are dispensing medicines. They are all, along with many others, playing a role in providing essential services. If they can do it, then so can I. That’s why I’ve offered to come out of retirement. If I can help in any way, I will.”

* The Western Trust has asked any retired health worker who wants to return to work to help deal with the impact of Covid-19 to contact the following email address: [email protected]