United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Aug 09, 2022

§ 1661.
Establishment of the Indian Health Service as an agency of the Public Health Service
In general

In order to more effectively and efficiently carry out the responsibilities, authorities, and functions of the United States to provide health care services to Indians and Indian tribes, as are or may be on and after November 23, 1988, provided by Federal statute or treaties, there is established within the Public Health Service of the Department the Indian Health Service.


The Service shall be administered by a Director, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director shall report to the Secretary. Effective with respect to an individual appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, after January 1, 2008, the term of service of the Director shall be 4 years. A Director may serve more than 1 term.


The individual serving in the position of Director of the Service on the day before March 23, 2010, shall serve as Director.

Advocacy and consultation
The position of Director is established to, in a manner consistent with the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Indian Tribes—
facilitate advocacy for the development of appropriate Indian health policy; and
promote consultation on matters relating to Indian health.

The Service shall be an agency within the Public Health Service of the Department, and shall not be an office, component, or unit of any other agency of the Department.

The Director shall—
perform all functions that were, on the day before March 23, 2010, carried out by or under the direction of the individual serving as Director of the Service on that day;
perform all functions of the Secretary relating to the maintenance and operation of hospital and health facilities for Indians and the planning for, and provision and utilization of, health services for Indians, including by ensuring that all agency directors, managers, and chief executive officers have appropriate and adequate training, experience, skill levels, knowledge, abilities, and education (including continuing training requirements) to competently fulfill the duties of the positions and the mission of the Service;
administer all health programs under which health care is provided to Indians based upon their status as Indians which are administered by the Secretary, including programs under—
this chapter;
the Act of August 5, 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.);
the Act of August 16, 1957 (42 U.S.C. 2005 et seq.); and
the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450 et seq.); 1
 See References in Text note below.
administer all scholarship and loan functions carried out under subchapter I;
directly advise the Secretary concerning the development of all policy- and budget-related matters affecting Indian health;
collaborate with the Assistant Secretary for Health concerning appropriate matters of Indian health that affect the agencies of the Public Health Service;
advise each Assistant Secretary of the Department concerning matters of Indian health with respect to which that Assistant Secretary has authority and responsibility;
advise the heads of other agencies and programs of the Department concerning matters of Indian health with respect to which those heads have authority and responsibility;
coordinate the activities of the Department concerning matters of Indian health; and
perform such other functions as the Secretary may designate.
In general
The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall have the authority—
except to the extent provided for in paragraph (2), to appoint and compensate employees for the Service in accordance with title 5;
to enter into contracts for the procurement of goods and services to carry out the functions of the Service; and
to manage, expend, and obligate all funds appropriated for the Service.
Personnel actions

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of section 5116 of this title,2

 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.
shall apply to all personnel actions taken with respect to new positions created within the Service as a result of its establishment under subsection (a).

(Pub. L. 94–437, title VI, § 601, as added Pub. L. 100–713, title VI, § 601(a), Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4824; amended Pub. L. 102–573, title VI, §§ 601, 602(a)(1), (c), title IX, § 902(6), (7), Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4571, 4592; Pub. L. 111–148, title X, § 10221(a), Mar. 23, 2010, 124 Stat. 935.)
cite as: 25 USC 1661