The Pandemic Reveals Weaknesses in Indian Health Service
“Long before the coronavirus, the Indian Health Service, the government program that provides health care to the 2.2 million members of the nation’s tribal communities, was plagued by shortages of funding and supplies a lack of doctors and nurses, too few hospital beds and aging facilities,” reports journalist Mark Walker for the New York Times.
In the new story, Walker reports on how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the weaknesses of the health system and how it has contributed to disproportionally high infection and death rates among Native Americans and “fueling new anger about what critics say has been decades of neglect from Congress and successive administrations in Washington.”
Among the issues are the months that hospitals waited for personal protective equipment, having far too few beds and ventilators, and little ability to collect data on cases and hospitalizations in order to identify outbreaks. Read the full story below.