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Navajo Health Care Concerns Addressed

Navajo Health Care Concerns Addressed
July 19
16:25 2017

Health Care Concerns Aired at Tuba City Meeting


A public hearing on Indian Health Service last week was a chance to assess the state of health care on the reservation, according to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

The Navajo Department of Health and the Office of the President/Vice President held the hearing in Tuba City on July 13.

“We need to assess where we are and where we need to go from here,” Begaye said.

Concerns brought up at the forum included: lack of specialized care causing patients to go elsewhere; Navajo Nation employee’s HMA insurance benefits not able to be billed for usage of IHS facilities; patient wait times; misdiagnosis causing unwarranted amputations, incorrect prescriptions and death; and poor road conditions causing extended wait times for ambulances.

“We’re here today to connect on a grassroots level so that we can take these concerns and present them at the federal level,” Director of NDOH, Glorinda Segay said.

Begaye also announced that he will be serving on a health care committee under the auspices of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Serving on the committee will allow him to bring issues and concerns on the Navajo Nation directly to the federal level, Begaye added.

“We need to make sure that we are addressing improvements to health services on the Navajo Nation and these hearings are providing the map to guide improvements,” Begaye said.

Indian Health Service facilities on the Navajo Nation are underfunded and understaffed, according to Begaye.

“We’re doing a lot, but we need to do more,” Begaye said.

The U.S. Senate has concerns over the state of Indian health care and a recent Wall Street Journal investigation found that some IHS facilities have failed inspections, shut down prohrams or lost federal funds.


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