Cincinnati health chief warns cuts will hurt

CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati's health commissioner is warning that proposed cuts to the department will hurt new mothers and their babies.

Health Commissioner Noble Maseru tells The Cincinnati Enquirer ( ) that the 15 percent budget cut planned by the city would eliminate staff from the department's Home Health Program, whose staff educates new mothers and does welfare checks on home-bound elderly.

Maseru warns that progress the city has made in lowering infant mortality rates could be erased if the program is cut.

There wouldn't be any layoffs but open positions wouldn't be filled.

The proposed budget would be the latest in a long series of cuts to the city health department, which has 176 fewer positions than it did in 2000.