A great thanks to a patient who wishes to stay anonymous who submitted this story to us this morning, direct from the hallways of the National Institute of Health.
“I saw this post on Facebook about the NIH turning away patients, which is partly true, and partly false. I know this because I’m sitting in a hospital bed at the NIH clinical center right now.
For anyone who has ever gotten accepted for an NIH clinical study, they know the process is long and arduous and no one gets accepted the same day that they apply. My doctor told me this morning that they have a hold on people getting accepted in that won’t make that big of an impact. Anyone who has already been accepted will still be allowed their treatment (I am fortunate enough to have arrived the same morning as the shutdown). Everyone else will just have to wait a bit longer.
Inside the NIH, it is really quiet. The library, cafe, gift shop, and recreation services are all closed. There is less employees here and the usual busy clinical center first floor is eerily empty.
I can see how this will make an impact if it continues, but not a huge one right now. The only point I really want to make in this is that the NIH shouldn’t be held in bad light despite our congress’ decisions. There are still employees here working hard to take care of the many patients whose lives depend on the experimental drugs being given. None of the employees seemed to be disturbed about it yet and have been continuing the amazing care that they always give.
As of this morning, the building is still quiet and occasionally you hear nurses complaining about the closure. But their complaints are not over reduced hours and monetary problems, but the problems it has caused for patients. You can tell that the people at the NIH truly care about helping others find cures for their diseases far beyond all the politics.”
To the patient—we appreciate her candor and giving us a live report during the Government shutdown. To all of the other patients waiting to enter NIH programs—stay strong. We’re wishing you all the luck and the speediest return to political normalcy as possible.