Very poignant article in Yahoo news about how the federal government is failing to meet the needs of many patients in the Indian Health Services – and the disastrous effects the broken promises are having.
- A five year old with stomach pain who stopped eating who visited the clinic ten times and was diagnosed with “depression.” Later the family discovered she had terminal cancer. She died at age six.
- Another patient was given cough syrup for his congestive heart failure and sustained damage to his heart. He died while waiting for a transplant.
- Another patient visited the clinic with stomach pains for 4 years and was diagnosed with possible tapeworms and stress. Later, she discovered she had metastatic cancer.
- Yet another patient couldn’t get a prescription filled despite repeated trips to a clinic because of lack of appointments. She died before she was able to see the doctor.
Few doctors are willing to work in remote reservations, there is a lack of funding (some reservations warn “don’t get sick after June,” when the federal dollars run out), and care is rationed. In fact, one third more funding is provided for the health care of felons in federal prison than is provided for American Indians on reservations.
Then read this Yahoo news story about the massive budget cuts that are coming down the pike in the healthcare reform package.
Not too hard to connect the dots.