Health Department wants to eliminate 'eldercare'

Tuesday, April 1st 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The state Board of Health has gone on record in favor of eliminating the Health Department's eldercare program if necessary to protect programs for children.

Public Health Commissioner Doctor Leslie Beitsch says the agency has absorbed budget reductions so far by cutting administrative costs and other expenses.

Beitsch says further across-the-board reductions can't be made without hurting the agency's ability to protect the health of Oklahoma residents.

As a result, officials had to choose programs for elimination to save enough money to meet anticipated budget reductions.

Eldercare, the Children's First Program and the Child Guidance Program were all considered.

Board members chose eldercare to minimize the impact on children.

Eliminating eldercare could save $5-million. The program allows many older Oklahomans to stay in their homes instead of being sent to nursing homes.