GALLUP — The federal agency that provides health care for Native people has entered into an agreement with the Navajo Nation to assess whether a location on the eastern outskirts of Gallup is the most suitable site for construction of a new medical center.

Indian Health Service spokesperson Jenny Notah said $17 million has been appropriated for planning and evaluation work for the project.

The balance of the projected cost of $615 million awaits congressional appropriation, Notah told the Gallup Independent.

The agency’s current facility in Gallup was built in the 1950s and has been at the center of controversy even before the pandemic because it lacks infrastructure and equipment to serve many patients.

As a result, many patients have to be transferred or referred to other hospitals in the region.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for joining the conversation on Santafenewmexican.com. Please familiarize yourself with the community guidelines. Avoid personal attacks: Lively, vigorous conversation is welcomed and encouraged, insults, name-calling and other personal attacks are not. No commercial peddling: Promotions of commercial goods and services are inappropriate to the purposes of this forum and can be removed. Respect copyrights: Post citations to sources appropriate to support your arguments, but refrain from posting entire copyrighted pieces. Be yourself: Accounts suspected of using fake identities can be removed from the forum.