Mike Myers: Exposing problems at the Indian Homicide Service

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Service and the Indian Health Service testify at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com

The Great Plains Area isn't the only region of the Indian Health Service with problems. Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures looks at some of the issues facing the beleaguered agency:
I started referring to the I.H.S. as the Indian Homicide Service a number of years back because there wasn’t, and still isn’t, a month or so that goes by that we don’t hear about another atrocity, a mis-diagnosis, a death or other example of gross malpractice occurring at the hospitals or clinics.

I haven’t been in an I.H.S. facility in about 20 years. The last time I was I went in for some cold medicine and while waiting for my prescription I was talking with two friends who had gone there for different reasons. We got our scripts and continued talking then one of them looked at his bottle and remarked, “Must be a special on blue pills. My wife got the same ones last week.” My buddy and I looked at ours and sure enough we had been given the same pills he had. I threw mine in the trash and haven’t been back.

Then there was the incident five years ago when I had undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Unfortunately the thing had grown so big they had to remove my left kidney as well. I had been home from the hospital for about three or four hours and there was a knock at the door. There stood some young person I had never seen before and asked them what they wanted.

“You got any pills for sale?” I told him to get the hell off my porch and slammed the door.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: The Indian Homicide Service (Indian Country Today 2/25)

Committee Notices:
Reexamining the Substandard Quality of Indian Health Care in the Great Plains (February 3, 2016)
A Listening Session on Putting Patients First: Addressing Indian Country’s Critical Concerns Regarding IHS (February 3, 2016)

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