Sen. Dorgan Says Committee Finds Local Indian Health Service In 'Chronic State Of Crisis'

Several news outlets featured a new Senate report on the Indian Health Service.

The Associated Press/The Washington Post: Report Lays Out Problems In Indian Health Service
The Aberdeen Area of the Indian Health Service is in a "chronic state of crisis" stemming from serious management problems and a lack of oversight, Sen. Byron Dorgan said in releasing a congressional report on Wednesday. IHS facilities in the Aberdeen Area, which serve more than 100,000 Native Americans from 18 tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, have been criticized for years over allegations of mismanagement and substandard services. The report Dorgan released follows an 18-month investigation by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which he chairs.  ... The Aberdeen Area includes nine hospitals, eight health centers, two school health stations and several smaller health stations and satellite clinics. ... Five IHS hospitals in the Aberdeen Area are at risk of losing their accreditation or certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the report found. Several facilities were cited as having health care providers on staff without proper licenses or credentials (12/29).

The Bismark Tribune: Report Shows Troubles In Indian Health Services 
The report is the result of an investigation the Indian Affairs Committee launched in June and is based on reviews of IHS documents, visits to facilities and interviews with IHS workers and tribal members. Dorgan said that of particular concern in North Dakota were a lack of mental health workers at the Standing Rock Reservation during a time of high suicide rates and problems at the IHS facility at the Turtle Mountain Reservation. "The fact is that kids are dying and elders are dying," Dorgan said (Bjorke, 12/29).

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