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Health
Yankton Sioux Tribe to lose emergency room


The Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota will lose its emergency room at the end of the month due to changes by the Indian Health Service.

In 1994, the tribe won a court injunction requiring the IHS to keep the facility, including the overnight emergency room, open. But now that IHS has complied with the court's order and has submitted an impact report to Congress, the IHS has cut back hours at the ER and is now proposing to eliminate overnight service altogether.

Tribal officials say closing the room will cost lives and will force people to seek care elsewhere -- or not at all. "Some people say they'd rather wait and die than go to the white hospital," John Sully, the tribe's treasurer, told The Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

The administrator for the Wagner Community Memorial Hospital its patient load will increase by 325 percent if the IHS follows through and closes the tribe's ER.

Get the Story:
Yankton Sioux Tribe fears loss of emergency room (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 1/23)

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov

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