Wall Street Journal Takes Critical Look at Indian Health Service

Published July 11, 2017

NEW YORK – In an article published last week, The Wall Street Journal takes a hard look at the problems Indian Health Service is having on Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities. In the article,  “‘People Are Dying Here’: Federal Hospitals Fail Tribes,” the Wall Street Journal examines the ongoing problems at IHS that members of Congress from both major political parties have tried to remedy continue:

From Wall Street Journal:

At the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge, S.D., a 57-year-old man was sent home with a bronchitis diagnosis—only to die five hours later of heart failure. When a patient at the federal agency’s Winnebago, Neb., facility stopped breathing, nurses responding to the “code blue” found the emergency supply cart was empty, and the man died. In Sisseton, S.D., a high school prom queen was coughing up blood. An IHS doctor gave her cough syrup and antianxiety medication; within days she died of a blood clot in her lung.

In some of the nation’s poorest places, the government health service charged with treating Native Americans failed to meet minimum U.S. standards for medical facilities, turned away gravely ill patients and caused unnecessary deaths, according to federal regulators, agency documents and interviews.

The IHS, a unit of the Department of Health and Human Services, operates a network of hospitals and clinics, much like the Veterans Health Administration. Under U.S. treaties that date back generations, the service is legally responsible for providing medical care to about 2.2 million tribal members.

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