Hospitals and health facilities transferred to Public Health Service; restriction on closing hospitals
All functions, responsibilities, authorities, and duties of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Secretary of the Interior, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs relating to the maintenance and operation of hospital and health facilities for Indians, and the conservation of the health of Indians, are transferred to, and shall be administered by, the Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, under the supervision and direction of the Secretary of Health and Human Services: Provided, That hospitals now in operation for a specific tribe or tribes of Indians shall not be closed prior to July 1, 1956, without the consent of the governing body of the tribe or its organized council.
In carrying out his functions, responsibilities, authorities, and duties under this subchapter, the Secretary is authorized, with the consent of the Indian people served, to contract with private or other non-Federal health agencies or organizations for the provision of health services to such people on a fee-for-service basis or on a prepayment or other similar basis.
(Aug. 5, 1954, ch. 658, § 1, 68 Stat. 674; Pub. L. 93–222, § 6(a), Dec. 29, 1973, 87 Stat. 935; Pub. L. 96–88, title V, § 509(b), Oct. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 695.)