What is the Indian Health Service?
The Indian Health Service is a Federal operating division within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The Indian health Services is responsible for providing public and medical services to members of federally recognized Tribes and natives of Alaska. As a result of this function, the Indian Health Services is regarded as the principal federal health care provider and advocate for Native Americans; the goal of the organization is to raise this population’s health status to the best possible level.
The Indian Health Services provides health care to American Indians and natives of Alaska at 33 national hospitals, 50 health clinics and over 50 health stations located throughout the country. In addition, the Indian health Service maintains over thirty urban Indian health projects to supplement these medical facilities with a variety of health and referral services.
Indian Health Service Quick Facts:
The following details outline the administration of the Indian Health Service:
The Indian Health Service was founded in 1955
The headquarters of the Indian Health Service are located in Rockville, Maryland
The Indian Health Service is responsible for the jurisdiction over the Federal Government of the United States
The head of the Indian Health Service is Dr. Yvette Roubideaux
The Indian Health Service operates with an annual budget of $3.8 billion.
Mission of the Indian Health Service:
Formed in 1955, the Indian Health Service took over health care provision for American Indian and Alaska Natives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The transferring of health care rights stemmed from the special government to government relationship between the United States Federal Government and Indian Tribes—a relationship that was formally established in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.
The Indian Health Service currently provides health services to roughly 1.8 million of the 3.3 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives who belong to the 557 federally recognized Native American Tribes throughout 35 states of the country.
The Indian Health Service employs roughly 2,700 nurses, 900 doctors, 500 pharmacists, 400 engineers and 300 dentists, along with other health professionals, to provide health-realted services to Native Americans and Alaska Natives. The Indian Health Service operates under Indian Preference Laws, which requires the agency to award preference when hiring qualified Indian applicants before considering non-Indian candidates for positions within the agency.