Ontario Budget 2021 - Implications for Occupational Therapists

Ontario’s Finance Minister, the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, introduced the 2021 provincial budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and our Economy on March 24, 2021. Largely focused on managing the health of Ontarians and the provincial economy which have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget outlines Ontario’s next steps to defeat COVID-19. The $186 billion budget brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s total response to COVID-19 is now $51 billion.

Occupational therapists will welcome several announced investments including:

  • capital developments for hospitals and long-term care homes
  • investment in 2 new children’s treatment centres that will improve access to rehabilitation services including occupational therapy
  • a commitment to increased funding for staffing including allied health professionals in long-term care homes
  • continued investment in the province’s mental health and addictions services.

At the same time, occupational therapists will be disappointed to see;

  •  the limited investment (20% over 4 years) in LTCH allied health staffing levels
  • the commitment to build new hospital beds without the visible commitment of staffing for these facilities
  • the lack of dedicated investment in home care at a time that home care has the potential to increase its value and contribution to the health system and the capacity of seniors to age at home.
Implications for Occupational Therapists
OSOT encourages members to review the provincial budget, recognizing the provincial government is the primary funder of occupational therapy services in the province.   

View OSOT's analysis of key investments of interest to occupational therapists.