Editorial: IHS mismanagement hurts patients
"Five thousand pieces of lost or stolen equipment, at an estimated total of nearly $16 million.

No, this didn't happen in some far away country. This tragic lack of overall accountability took place here in the United States through the federal Indian Health Service.

In addition to the lost or stolen equipment, documents were later falsified to cover up some of the losses that occurred from 2004 to 2007, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Investigators blamed mismanagement at the top of the troubled agency for this latest miscarriage of government oversight. The real losers? The thousands of American Indians who require medical attention through Indian Health Service programs.

IHS routinely runs out of money to provide even adequate care for the national American Indian population, including Navajo Nation tribal members. This kind of government waste and abuse must stop immediately — and it comes down to accountability that starts at the local level and rises to Washington, D.C."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indian Health Service fiasco hurts patients who need care (The Farmington Daily Times 7/28)

More Opinions:
Editorial: IHS audit shows lots of problems (The Bemidji Pioneer 7/24)
Editorial: Indian Health Service’s wasted money (The Helena Independent Record 7/23)

Committee Notice:
OVERSIGHT HEARING on Indian Health Service Management: Lost Property, Wasteful Spending and Document Fabrication (July 31, 2008)

GAO Report:
IHS Mismanagement Led to Millions of Dollars in Lost or Stolen Property | Summary

Related Stories:
Sen. Nelson questions IHS mismanagement (7/25)
Senate sets hearing on IHS mismanagement (7/23