Tribes want action, not words, on health care
Tribal leaders in South Dakota say the Obama administration has to make good on its promises to improve Indian health care.

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Theresa Two Bulls said tribes have always informed the Indian Health Service of their needs."Every year we tell you about the deficiencies, the horror stories with IHS. But nothing is ever done," she told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

Yankton Sioux Tribe Chairman Robert Cournoyer said the biggest hurdle is money. The IHS remains woefully underfunded and most of the money isn't spent on direct care, he said.

"Basically, before one aspirin is dispensed, before one patient is seen, they take care of their own needs first," Cournoyer told the paper. "I'd say 60 to 70 percent goes toward salaries and those types of things. The 30 percent that's left over goes toward trying to meet the health care disparities in Indian Country."

Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman Brandon Sazue told the paper that IHS "is not doing too well. It has a lot of problems."

Get the Story:
A vow for Indian health (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 6/17)

Related Stories:
HHS Secretary promises Indian health focus (6/16)
Indian Country still waiting for better health care (6/15)