18 May 2018

Concerns about drug & alcohol services?

The HCC is asking Victorians to report concerns about private drug and alcohol rehabilitation services.

A major investigation into the sector has been launched after the office received around 30 complaints about private drug and alcohol services in its first year of operation.

The most common issues in these complaints were exploitative billing practices - sometimes involving treatments costing up to $30,000 - and a lack of informed consent for financial and treatment decisions. Concerns about the safety and effectiveness of treatments, cleanliness of facilities and inappropriate discharge of patients have also been raised.

Anyone with concerns about a Victorian private drug and alcohol rehabilitation service should call 03 9032 3168 or email [email protected] to make a confidential report.

The HCC began operation on 1 February 2017 to resolve complaints about health services and the handling of health information in Victoria, as well as to investigate dangerous or unethical providers.

From this date a general code of conduct came into effect for all general health service providers, meaning those not regulated by AHPRA and including drug and alcohol counsellors.

The code outlines the standards of safe and ethical healthcare and, if breached, provides grounds for a complaint and possible further action including investigations, prohibition orders and public warning statements.