Bendigo Health expects five of the eight beds at its new ‘dual-diagnosis’ unit to be filled within the next week.
The unit took in its first patient two and a half months ago.
In February psychiatric services executive director Associate Professor Phil Tune said beds would be ready by March 31.
Bendigo Health representatives said on Friday that the program was on track, and fully staffed.
Currently, the facility has four people on its waiting list, who are expected to begin the program at dual-diagnosis within the week.
Bendigo Health expects the final three beds to be open in three weeks time, when works to the air conditioning are finished.
Previously mental health services at Bendigo Health have struggled to attract staff.
When funding for the unit was announced in October 2017, Associate Professor Tun speculated that Bendigo Health might have to sub-contract staff to run it.
In February, he reiterated fears that staffing could delay Bendigo Health opening of the beds, then expected to be ready by March 31.
Bendigo Health board chair Bob Cameron said on Friday that the service would be fully staffed all beds were open.
“The renovation is nearly finished and there will be a full complement of staff, which is currently 14,” Mr Cameron said.
The eight beds in the dual diagnosis unit will provide treatment to patients with both drug or alcohol, and mental health diagnoses.
These patients would normally otherwise be referred to psychiatric inpatient treatment.
Patients must undergo a detox program before they are eligible for bed space.
Dual Diagnosis nurse unit manager Wayne Daly said everything was on track at the facility.
Staff include a psychiatrist, medical officer, occupational therapist and social worker.
The unit is equipped with staff to not only treat the medical needs of patients, but also advise them on social matters, such as housing, and Centrelink.
“Everything’s up to speed at thee moment and we’re able to operate,” Mr Daly said.
He sees the unit as a critical facility for treating people with both substance addition and mental health problems.
“In the past, it hasn’t been acknowledged that people with both these illnesses, there’s been nowhere for them to go to get treatment for both. It’s either an alcohol and drug service or a mental health service,” Mr Daly said.
“We’re fortunate that we’re able to treat both sides of the equation.”