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Care at Native American Health Facilities Called ‘Horrifying and Unacceptable’ in Senate Hearing
NBC News

One woman died after she was left on the floor of her hospital room, overdosed by poorly trained staff. Others died in ambulances on long journeys to emergency rooms because local facilities were closed for being such a mess.

Witness after witness at a Senate hearing Wednesday begged the federal government to properly fund the neglected Indian Health Service, and even government officials in charge of the service said they were struggling to get the resources they need.

“What we’ve found is simply horrifying and unacceptable. In my view, the information provided to this committee and witness first hand can be summed up in one word: malpractice,” Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — another agency within the Department of Health and Human Services — has confirmed not only that these same problems continue to fester, but that they pose immediate risk to patient safety,” Barrasso added.