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Yuma tribe suing feds over reservation health care

Yuma, Arizona (AP) February 2011

An Arizona tribe is suing the federal government, claiming health care facilities and services provided on the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation are inadequate and unsafe.

Quechan Tribal President Mike Jackson Sr. said last week that the Fort Yuma facilities are the oldest in the Indian Health Services’ system and need to be replaced. He says land is available on the reservation for a modern health facility that’s about 20 years overdue.

The suit was filed after 44 tribal members were potentially exposed to blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis. Tribal officials allege IHS failed to properly sterilize wound-care instruments at the Fort Yuma clinic from October 2008 to July 2009.

Federal authorities have moved to dismiss the suit, arguing that the tribe’s concerns should be addressed by Congress.




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