Tribal Health Care Services A Sticky Situation

Tuesday, June 26th 2007, 6:07 pm
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) -- The director of the U.S. Indian Health Service tells tribal leaders Tuesday in Denver that he wants his agency to eliminate disparities within the American Indian health care system as well as those that exist between tribal and traditional health

Charles Grim told a congregation of the Direct Service Tribes that access to tribal, and traditional, medical facilities, coordinating insurance payments for both types of care and ensuring Native Americans are adequately insured are among the many challenges facing the agency.

The group includes tribes that allow the federal government to regulate their health care and education programs.

Darrell Flyingman, the governor of the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribes in Oklahoma, says it's up to both American Indians and the government to find solutions to problems that include the lack of traditional health insurance for many, limited access to medical
facilities and higher-than-average rates of suicide and methamphetamine use among Natives.