A Senate panel scolded Indian Health Service Director Robert McSwain for lax oversight after the Government Accountability Office found that more than 5,000 items, valued at about $15.8 million, have either been lost or stolen from the agency, including several electronic devices that housed unprotected patient information.
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, called IHS an agency in desperate need of repair, and tied the poor performance at the management level to potential problems on the clinical side. We have people dying in this country because they dont have adequate healthcare, he said. This GAO report, I think, is a scathing indictment of the way things have been done at the Indian Health Service. In an investigation of IHS headquarters in Rockville, Md., and in other regions, the GAO found that more than 2,300 technical pieces, including laptop computers, digital cameras and handheld wireless devices, valued at $4.6 million, have gone missing.