Congress questions Indian Health Service staff, management


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Members of Congress on Tuesday questioned the longstanding staffing and management shortcomings that have led to poor health care services at government-run facilities caring for Native Americans across the country.

The hearing in Washington of the House subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs focused on proposed legislation that would expand the authority of the Indian Health Service to remove or demote employees and would also allow it to offer incentives to recruit well-trained administrators and health care providers. This was the second time in less than a month that the IHS' top leader, principal deputy director Mary Smith, tribal leaders and health care advocates testified before members of Congress regarding proposed measures to overhaul the embattled agency.


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