Emergency In Rosebud

The ER closure is steering away tribal members from entering the still-open clinic

For the past 5 months, The Rosebud Hospital Emergency Room that holds 35 beds has been shut down, and it is unclear when it will reopen again.

The temporary closure came after the Center for Medicaid and Medicare conducted a survey that uncovered multiple serious failures, including lack of nursing care and unsanitary procedures.

The deficiencies put the hospital at risk of losing federal funding, steering away many tribal members from entering the clinic that is still open, because they’re scared they’ll be stuck with the bills.

“In some cases they’re staying at home and caring for themselves and the longer they delay it, the more the condition progresses,” says Rosebud Sioux Tribe Health Director Evelyn Espinoza. “Then the more at risk they are at facing a critical emergency condition to happen. It’s just a bad situation overall”

Those that do have a serious condition are forced either travel 43 miles to Valentine Nebraska, or 54 miles to Winner to get the care they need.

A distance that proved to be too far 6 six people who died in route.

“I feel horrible for the families that have to go through this,” says Rosebud Sioux Tribe President William Kindle. ”Shame on IHS and the congressional people for not biting the bullet and fund this thing like it needs to be funded and staff it like it needs to be.

Tuesday on KDLT News at 10, we’ll hear from a woman who lost her cousin on the way to the Winner hospital, as well the latest agreement Indian Health Services has made to get the ER up and running again.