Despite accounting for additional spending because of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, Ottawa Public Health reports actually spending $5-million more than it had originally anticipated in 2020.
According to a report that will be presented on Monday, April 19 to the board of health, OPH projected an over-expenditure of $12-million for the 2020 fiscal year, but ended up spending $17.1-million in additional costs.
These costs, OPH says, were associated with monitoring, detecting and containing COVID-19 in the province.
“OPH incurred an additional $5.1M in COVID-19 related costs while addressing additional pressures in the latter part of 2020,” the report explains. “Additional response requirements resulting from the surge in COVID-19 cases contributed to the upscale of the number of staff and staff related costs such as compensation, personal protective equipment, hardware, computer licenses in case management and contact tracing and outbreak investigation and management.”
However, the Ministry of Health did provide funding for all extraordinary expenses, and was able to help balance the budget.
The health unit also reinstated some essential services to improve the community’s access to mental health and substance use support, parenting programs, emergency dental treatments to low-income residents, sexual health, harm reduction management and infection prevention.
OPH also continued to work on the migration to the provincial case and contact management report system and initiated planning for the COVID-19 vaccine campaign.