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Health | Opinion
Yvette Roubideaux: Reform Indian health care

"President Obama's administration is committed to strengthening the Indian Health Service and improving health care for American Indians and Alaska Native people. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is consulting with tribes on health reform issues and held a listening session on health reform in Indian Country on July 7. Tribes have been working on their own to be a part of the conversation and debate by holding meetings, developing position papers and visiting Congress. I'm confident that American Indians and Alaska Natives will benefit from health reform.

The Indian health system, made up of IHS and tribal and urban Indian health programs, has learned many lessons and best practices that are being considered as we move forward with reform. Great strides have been made in Indian health since the Transfer Act established the IHS as an official entity in 1955. The Indian health care system has been recognized around the world as a successful model for rural and urban health programs for indigenous people because of its respect for cultural beliefs, its blending of traditional practices with the modern medical model, and its emphasis on public health and community outreach activities. We have shared information on our health care system with many other countries over the years, looking to improve their indigenous health care systems, including, most recently, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, China, Kyrgyzstan and Vietnam."

Get the Story:
Yvette Roubideaux: Health reform initiative will benefit Indian services (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/19)

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