Only via the Ministry of Health: institutions without a medical licence may be banned from providing drug rehabilitation
According to experts, this could significantly restrict the market of services, but at the same time protect drug users from fraudsters.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has prepared a packet of draft laws which are aimed at banning the work of rehabilitation centres for drug addicts that do not have a medical licence. It is proposed that only those institutions that have received a licence from the Ministry of Health will be allowed to carry out rehabilitation. The corresponding documents are published on the portal of draft regulatory legal acts.
The explanatory note attached to the document explains that in 2013, organisations without a medical licence were allowed to provide social assistance to drug addicts. As a result, the number of non-state, private centres that provide services in the sphere of psychiatry and drug rehabilitation has grown almost threefold in the past four years.
Mediazona reports that inspections of these organisations have revealed cases of violence towards patients, forced labour, kidnappings and the use of “manipulative and identity repressing technologies”.
Currently, rehabilitation services for drug addicts can be provided by any group of people, basically, anyone. In Maxim Malyshev’s opinion, coordinator for street social work at the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice, the draft law is ambiguous.
“On the one hand, this is good news: the law will help to fight pseudo-rehabilitation, where they pump money out of people or pump religious propaganda into them. It will be a quality control,” Malyshev told the Agency for Social Information. On the other hand, according to the expert, if the draft law is adopted, many people will not be able to receive help. There is the possibility that the Ministry of Health Licence will only be given to “rich” clinics or state ones. This may lead to all the power being with state clinics and significantly restrict the market of rehabilitation services.
“Rehabilitation in well-known clinics is expensive and it is not accessible for most middle-class people. I am concerned that people will simply not have a choice,” Malyshev commented.
The coordinator acknowledges that regulation of this market is necessary. However, he is not sure that the state will be able to construct a system based on expert opinions.
According to Malyshev, the draft law will not directly affect the work of the A. Rylkov Foundation since the foundation is not engaged in rehabilitation. However, it may be indirectly affected: currently, according to the expert, despite all the disadvantages of the current types of rehabilitation, they are still suitable for some people, and for some this is their way out.