US shutdown could stop care for children with cancer: Report
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States government shutdown could block hundreds of cancer patients, including children, from entering last-ditch clinical trials for treatment, US media reported on Wednesday.
About three-quarters of the staff at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which operates the largest research hospital in the world, have been placed on unpaid leave indefinitely.
While the NIH Clinical Centre is continuing to treat patients, who seek care there after all other options are exhausted, it is operating at "roughly 90 per cent of normal patient load", said an agency memo.
"NIH would not admit new patients (unless deemed medically necessary by the NIH Director), or initiate new protocols," during a funding hiatus, the memo said.