The Tohono O’odham Nation Legislative Council recently approved the Self-Governance Agreement for healthcare on the Nation. With this exercise of tribal sovereignty, the Nation will assume responsibility for the provision of health care services for tribal members.
For more than a year, the Nation’s Department of Health and Human Services has been working to contract all healthcare programs, services, functions, and activities currently provided by the Indian Health Services Tucson Area and the Sells Service Unit.
“After many months of work with our Self-Governance Team of the Nation and intense negotiations with IHS, we are ecstatic that the Legislative Council passed the Health Compact that now clears the way for the Nation to assume responsibility for its own healthcare,” said Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manuel, in a press release.
Chairman Manuel went on to say, “This was a collective effort—from our Executive staff, Legislative staff, District Councils, to the members of the Tohono O’odham Legislative Council—everyone working to do their duty. Health is a major priority for the Tohono O’odham Nation. This action makes it clear that we are ready to improve our healthcare delivery system and do more for our people.”
The Nation’s Self-Governance Team will assume full responsibility on July 1.