The State of Health Care on the Rosebud Indian Reservation
November 2, 2013 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Native Americans were promised health care by the government, but what are they really getting? Stanford Medicine on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where health services are underfunded, suicide rates are high, and the life expectancy is just 46 years:
posted by porn in the woods (10 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent article, thanks for posting.

"Patients travel sometimes 100 miles over rough roads to get here, though finding transportation often isn’t easy. Still, the 35-bed hospital is consistently over capacity. Getting an appointment can be difficult to near impossible because of a lack of staff and an overabundance of patients."

That this is about a hospital in America in 2013 is just shocking.
posted by billiebee at 10:43 AM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Appalling. I'd love to hear if any of you have recommendations for charities that work to improve this situation.
posted by The Toad at 11:03 AM on November 2, 2013

Seconding the request for appropriate organizations for donations.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:24 AM on November 2, 2013

Life expectancy is low primarily because of the disease of poverty. There isn't much the hospital or doctor can do about it. Doctors can't treat Wounded Knee.
posted by humanfont at 1:30 PM on November 2, 2013 [3 favorites]

Native Americans were promised health care by the government, but what are they really getting?

Screwed. Again. Still.

I suppose I better RTFA rather than doing the kneejerk response.
I'll post back if there's anything new.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:31 PM on November 2, 2013

My sister is half native, living in South Dakota, she says it's a mess, she provides support to mentally ill/addicted youth often from reservations, the nearby is worse off than rosebud. She says it's really difficult to get any restoration projects, there's a history of government/charity people providing abusive forced christian culture destroying resources so there is a resistance to western intervention to provide aide but the tribes have a hard time organizing anything because there is so much poverty/addiction/illness so it's hard to find in tribe orgs to donate to.

An example of tribal member observation of attempts to help:

"I wish the whole paradigm of thinking about such things would change. I read on their website that RE-member charges $375 dollars a person for trips like these. For a 17 person crew like the one mentioned in the article that’s $6375. I also wonder, just how effective can 17 high schoolers be at attending to any needs of the reservation? I don’t mean to put down the high schoolers, or their desire to help someone. However, high school by definition is typically before someone has become advanced in any particular skill. Why pay so much to have unskilled high schoolers come all this way, when maybe that money could go toward hiring tribal members, already skilled in carpentry, building houses, waterworks, developing infrastructure?"

It's very tricky and as my sister was raised off the reservation she and many who get educated and live off of the reservation are treated with suspicion for being outsiders. As an aside there is a donate button on the blog mentioned.

This org was featured in Indian Country Media Network

There's a list of news articles at Indian Country Media Network relating to tribal poverty. Just a simple search.
posted by xarnop at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2013 [5 favorites]

Heartbreaking but informative. Thank you for the article.
posted by warm_planet at 5:52 PM on November 2, 2013

Jesus wept. How does anyone in Washington in any way responsible sleep at night?
posted by ob1quixote at 6:19 PM on November 2, 2013

The things I wish I could say. . . .much, much worse than the article could even tell you.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2013

Humanity never seems to learn that inhumanity equals sick humans.
posted by manoffewwords at 2:19 AM on November 3, 2013

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