(HealthDay News) — The government shutdown is having a serious impact on health care agencies, according to an article published Oct. 1 in Medical Economics.
Due to the government shutdown, 52 percent of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) staff is being furloughed and several government-provided health care services are being affected.
HHS activities that are continuing relate to the safety of human life and protection of property and include specific programs within government agencies. These include minimal support and staffing for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ongoing protocols and safeguarding of facilities and infrastructure, as well as animal care services; minimal support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigation, and processing of laboratory samples; and limited activities related to user-fee-funded programs of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as vital activities such as consumer protection for emergencies, high-risk recalls, and other critical public health issues. The NIH will not admit new patients, and the CDC will not support the influenza program; update disease treatment and prevention recommendations; or provide technical assistance, analysis, or support for infectious disease surveillance.
“Consistent with legal advice that activities authorized by law, including those that do not rely on annual appropriations, and activities that involve the safety of human life and protection of property are to be continued,” according to the report.