As long as the government is shut down, the National Institutes of Health will turn away roughly 200 patients each week from its clinical research center, including children with cancer.
The Clinical Center won't simply close its doors during the shutdown. It will still keep 2,564 staff on hand for patient care and maintain about 90 percent of its normal load, according to an agency memo. Existing patients will still get treated as usual.
But the rules of the shutdown mean that the Clinical Center "would not be accepting new patients or initiating new clinical protocols during a hiatus," the memo said.
So, as a result of the budget impasse, there will be a certain number of patients who have exhausted all their options, were hoping to undergo treatment at the NIH Clinical Center, and won't get admitted — at least until the shutdown is resolved.
(Hat tip: Jordan Weissmann)
-- The nine most painful consequences of a government shutdown.
-- Here's an earlier look at how sequestration budget cuts have been paring back the NIH's research programs.