Spring 2018

The Story of Indian Health is Complicated by History, Shortages & Bouts of Excellence

Mark N. Trahant

One of the primary goals of the United States’ entry into health care was to protect soldiers by isolating and inoculating tribal populations from infectious disease. When tribes signed legally binding treaties, the United States promised doctors, nurses, facilities, and basic health care. Yet this promise has never been fully funded by Congress. Mark N. Trahant asserts that the Indian Health Service, which includes tribal and nonprofit health agencies, has largely failed American Indian and Alaska Native patients, despite the achievement of remarkable innovation and excellence.

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