Ministry Health Care announced on Wednesday that it will be closing the Saint Joseph's Hospital Drug and Alcohol Rehab services program by the end of June. The decision to end both inpatient and outpatient substance abuse services at the hospital will affect about 40 employees, which include support staff, counselors, therapists, nursing assistants, nurses, physicians, and more. Ministry is working with staff to start exploring job opportunities or severance packages as soon as possible. The options will depend on what kind of situation and experience that the individuals have with the services at the point of their departure.
The decision is said to alight with Ministry's objectives to focus on core services as a tertiary medical and surgical care provider and will supposedly help to minimize the impact on bedside care across other units that are present. Saint Joseph's Hospital will work with other area health care organizations to help provide appropriate treatment for those who are existing patients and address the ongoing community need for drug and alcohol rehab services.
There are many people who are concerned about the program closing down because they don't know how they are going to get suitable treatment services for their addiction problems. For those who were in the middle of a treatment or a recovery program, the change has not come at a convenient care. Although Ministry says that it will help to find programs for those who are in need and affected by this change, there has not been any new information about when that will occur or if there are any other programs that will be able to take over where the previous program had left off.
While Ministry has said that this is mainly being done to ensure that there is appropriate treatment being covered in other areas and that they will be able to focus on providing more core services, there are a lot of people who argue that substance abuse programs and their related services should be considered more "core" options because of the amount of importance and demand that they hold for many people. The amount of people who are struggling with dealing with an addiction is substantial and there is a significant lack of facilities that would be able to take care of everyone's needs. Not every state or city has access to services for those who are suffering from addiction, which makes it a concern for those who need treatment but have no way to attain it.
Others are disappointed in the changes because they considered the Ministry program to be one of the more affordable programs that are available in the area. However, the hospital claims that there are several other programs that will be able to cover the the needs of those who are suffering from substance abuse and addiction. It remains to be seen when the changes will have their full impact on everyone and when patients will be moved over to their new programs, if they become available.