Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week demanded answers from the Indian Health Service (IHS) following the release of an internal report detailing the agency’s failure to do anything about repeated and well-founded allegations that a pediatrician was sexually abusing young patients. The report also indicated that the whistleblowers who reported the violations were retaliated against while the abusive doctor was promoted. In his letter to IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler, Grassley requested information regarding the agency’s plan to ensure abuse like this does not happen in the future.
“The IHS provides health care to millions of Native Americans. These patients deserve access to safe healthcare without fear of assault. Further, the IHS employs over 15,000 nurses, physicians, and other caregivers. It is imperative that these men and women feel empowered to blow the whistle on any and all abuse and misconduct – without fear of retribution,” Grassley wrote.
“Today, I call on you to ensure this egregious miscarriage of justice does not occur in the future. It is imperative that the IHS prevents caregivers from using their power to abuse and harm our children.”