Editorial Calls for Congress, Tribal Leaders, Indian Health Service To Improve System for American Indians
"It's past time to rebuild" the health system for American Indians "into something that works better," a Farmington Daily Times editorial states. While a "good number" of hospitals and health care professionals are "providing admirable care" to American Indians, Indian Health Service "routinely runs out of money to provide even adequate care for the national American Indian population," the editorial adds.
The editorial notes that a recent report (.pdf) from the General Accounting Office found that IHS from 2004 to 2007 has experienced millions of dollars in lost or stolen equipment, which affects the thousands of American Indians who receive services through the agency. According to the editorial, "documents were later falsified to cover up some of the losses." The editorial states, "This kind of government waste and abuse must stop immediately -- and it comes down to accountability that starts at the local level and rises to Washington, D.C."
The "real test will be the action that takes place, or doesn't, following this brutal report," the editorial adds. It concludes, "Indian Health Service, Congress, tribal officials and others must do an infinitely better job. American Indians who desperately need better health care are depending on it" (Farmington Daily Times, 7/28).