Finding a Treatment Centre

Choosing the right treatment centre can be challenging, do your research before committing! Ask the facility if they are registered, what type of programme do they offer and who are the trained professionals on the clinical team?

Registration and Compliance

Rehab centres must be registered with the Department of Social Development (DSD) and/or by the Department of Health (DOH). Commonly referred to as Addiction Facilities (substance license) or a Dual-Diagnosis Facilities (substance and psychiatric license).

Medical Detoxification

Rehab facilities must apply for a license if they offer medical detoxification. The Department of Health requires a GP and registered nurses to manage this process. Facilities without a detox license will refer their patients to a medical hospital to safely detox before admitting the patient into their programme.

Medical Aid Funding

Registered facilities will accept medical aid, including hospital plans to fund treatment(T&C). Certain medical aids schemes may require a co-payment. Rehab facilities will not accept medical insurance to fund the treatment of Substance Use Disorder(addiction) in South Africa.

International Medical Aid Funding

South African rehab facilities do accept international medical aid as funding for the treatment of Substance Use Disorder and terms & conditions will apply. Some facilities may require upfront payment. You would then claim the cost of the treatment from your scheme after discharge. Most facilities will work directly with established international medical aids and claim on your behalf without any upfront payment from yourself.

Professional Staff

DOH and DSD will inspect licensed facilities regularly to ensure they abide with the regulations set out by the law. You could expect to find addiction counsellors, social workers, occupational therapist, counselling psychologist, clinical psychologist, enrolled nurses, registered nurses, GP and consulting psychiatrist as part of the clinical team. All professional staff should be registered with HPCSA

Practical Advise

All registered facilities will have a practice number issued by DSD and DOH.  In my experience the easiest way to validate a facilities license is to establish whether they accept medical aid? Medical aid schemes will proactively check license status before honoring any claims. This is a practical and easy way to weed out any unlicensed facilities and ensure recourse from DSD, DOH and medical aid schemes when needed.


Council for Medical Schemes