What are the conflicts that have occurred with Western health care for Native Americans?
Government studies have concluded that healthcare outcomes and patient satisfaction tend to be less positive for Native Americans than for other demographics. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most general cause cited is mistrust of Western medicine and doctors. This attitude of mistrust implies that Native Americans may be less likely to obtain regular checkups, and less likely to follow up on doctors' instructions when diagnosed with a particular condition. But other conflicts may arise from general quality of health on reservation communities, where poverty and unemployment tend to be pervasive. This impacts nutrition and can also be connected to increased alcohol and drug abuse, as well as increased depression and anxiety. All of these underlying factors can mean a more problematic outcome in healthcare situations.
There are also specific cultural issues that are impacting health among Native American communities, such as intergenerational anger and grief among elders who have seen their customs eroded, and a history of oppression by the American government and social institutions such as the education system.