Calgary

Alberta closes remote addiction treatment facility due to patient safety concerns

The Alberta government is ordering an addiction treatment outfit to stop operating in the province due to patient safety concerns.

Province cites poor quality of care, financial practices

Alberta's Health Minister Tyler Shandro said he authorized an investigation into the Addiction Recovery Network facility because of the 'number and nature' of the complaints.  (Manuel Carrillos/CBC)

The Alberta government is ordering an addictions treatment centre to stop operating in the province due to patient safety concerns, it said Tuesday in a release.

The Canadian Addiction Recovery Network has two rehabilitation centres listed on its website — one in Alberta and the other, Ontario. These facilities are described as "retreat-like" service centres for addiction and mental health issues.

In the news release, the government cited numerous complaints to Alberta Health alleging "poor safety, quality of care and inappropriate financial practices" for closing the remote facility 150 kilometres northwest of Calgary.

The company's Rocky Mountain Retreat is located near where Highway 40 crosses the Red Deer River.

Jason Luan, the associate minister of mental health and addictions, said in the release that the government plans to pursue action "to the fullest extent" of its authority.

"Our government will not stand by while any company seeks to take advantage of families or individuals dealing with addiction or mental health issues," Luan said. 

The government also referenced the Public Health Act and the Mental Health Services Protection Act.

The latter gives the health minister the authority to investigate, and, according to the government's website, also the "authority to address complaints and concerns and to amend, suspend or cancel an operating licence."

Tyler Shandro, the Alberta minister of health, said he authorized an investigation into the facility because of the "number and nature" of the complaints. 

"I have signed a ministerial order directing Alberta Health staff to investigate the facility once patients have been safely moved to another treatment centre," Shandro's said in the release. 

"Our government will always put the safety of patients and families first."

The release also stated that patients of the facility have been offered services elsewhere, and at no extra cost.

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