Reports detail issues at reservation hospitals
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Broken sanitation equipment, a baby delivered unattended in a bathroom, doctors operating without credentials and lack of immediate care in the emergency department are among the dozens of serious deficiencies federal inspectors found last year during unannounced visits to two federally administered hospitals that provide care to Native Americans.
The Associated Press obtained records of the inspections, which were conducted in October and November by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare at hospitals on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations, showing that patients were receiving substandard services - so much so in one emergency room that it put lives at risk.
In turn, tribal leaders and health care policy experts are questioning the federal government's commitment to provide adequate care for tribal members, who by law have guaranteed access to free health care.