Violated: How the Indian Health Service Betrays Patient Trust and treaties in the Great Plains
Dozens of patients have died needlessly due to errors made in Indian Health Service hospitals in South Dakota alone.
Doctors pulled Kathy Boyd’s heart out of her chest.
Hundreds of miles from her home on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, the 57-year-old wife and mother lay cut open on an operating table.
It never should have reached this point.
Doctors at the Rosebud Indian Health Service hospital neglected to act when they received an echocardiogram four years earlier that showed a valve in Kathy’s heart was struggling to pump blood.
Instead of giving the longtime IHS patient the treatment necessary to heal the faulty valve, they told her not to worry. The red flags warning of her failing heart were shoved in a drawer and ignored.
Kathy, a native South Dakotan and enrolled member in the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, wasn’t the first to experience this kind of dangerously deficient care from the federal agency charged with providing treatment to 2 million Native Americans across the country.
Dozens of patients have died needlessly due to errors made in IHS hospitals in South Dakota alone. Thousands more in the state’s rural Indian reservations face limited access to primary care providers, long wait times for basic medical treatments and outstanding medical debt for necessary care sought outside the federally-funded facilities.
Native American patients in two federally run hospitals in South Dakota needlessly die while thousands more face limited access to primary care providers, long wait times for basic medical treatments and outstanding medical debt, Dana Ferguson — writing for the (Sioux Falls, SD) Argus Leader — reports.