The Indian Health Service is permanently closing the Sioux San Hospital’s emergency room and inpatient services.
IHS must report to Congress at least one year prior to the date they intend to close the facility.
In a press release, IHS says it will terminate emergency room and overnight, inpatient services by July of 2018.
IHS’s emergency room temporarily closed in September last year. Those seeking emergency room care were referred to the nearby Rapid City Regional Hospital. It never reopened.
IHS officials say they’ve been focusing Sioux San resources on urgent care and outpatient services by shifting E-R and inpatient care staff to those clinics.
Michael Toedt is the Chief Medical Officer with IHS.
“A number of factors led to this decision including the age of the Sioux San facility, which is nearly 80 years old, and the close proximity to the Rapid City Regional Hospital," Toedt says. "Since then, by focusing on urgent care and outpatient services and redeploying emergency and inpatient resources to these services, the IHS has determined that its patients are better served with an urgent and outpatient care clinic.”
Toedt says those seeking inpatient care will get referred to other hospitals. Toedt says inpatient services were under-utilized.
Before the emergency room closure, IHS officials say about 40 patients per day were seen in the ER.
Officials say they’re planning for new construction at the Sioux San facility.