Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Former serviceman acquired health problems during military service and his condition is deteriorating rapidly; the Republic of Armenia is not implementing its obligations

October 12, 2023

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During military service, G.M. developed a disease, which later became chronic and is now in the exacerbation stage and can have fatal consequences for the rest of his life.

 

The Republic of Armenia has undertaken a direct obligation to guarantee servicemen’s health, including by providing appropriate medical aid in case of acquiring a disease. However, the RA is not making the necessary efforts to solve the former serviceman’s  health problems acquired as a result of military service.



HCAV undertook to protect former serviceman G.M.’s rights. During compulsory military service, G.M. acquired a chronic disease, which led to organ lesions. As a result of the disease, the serviceman was hospitalized and received stationary treatment. According to the conclusion of the RA MoD Central Military Medical Commission, G.M. was recognized unfit for military service and prematurely discharged. Further, by a different conclusion of the MoD, the Central Military Medical Commission confirmed that G.M. had acquired the disease during military service.  

 

After being discharged in 2019, G.M. underwent an expert examination in N 8 examination unit of the unified social service medical social expert examination office, and was recognized as a person with disability of third degree for a one year term. Third degree disability was recognized also during re-examinations for the next two years (2020 and 2021). Each time the disability was identified for a one-year term. In 2022, however, by the decision of the Unified Social Service, G.M. was not recognized as having a disability. HCAV advocate appealed this decision in the RA Administrative Court, and on October 19, the judicial act solving the merits of the case is to be published. 

 

G.M. was regularly hospitalized and provided stationary treatment in medical centers in order to maintain his health and prevent possible deterioration. Stationary treatment was provided in the frame of state-guaranteed free medical aid. On 17.11.2022, however, when G.M. was recognized as not having any disability, provision of medical aid ceased. 

 

Currently, G.M.’s disease is in the exacerbation phase. Medical documents indicate that not undergoing necessary examinations and not receiving necessary treatment will inevitably lead to irreversible consequences. He is currently not receiving any treatment, as his family cannot afford it, and the state is not implementing its obligations.

 

The Republic of Armenia, represented by the RA Ministry of Mod and Ministry of Health, has a direct obligation to maintain health of servicemen, including prematurely discharged servicemen: drafted healthy, a person is under state responsibility and the state should manifest a particular attitude towards persons who acquired a disease, got injured or wounded while implementing their military obligations. 

 

With the purpose of protecting G.M.’s rights, HCAV addressed letters to the RA Minister of Defense Suren Papikyan and Minister of Health Anahit Avanesyan. The Ministry of Health responded that according to N 318-N decision on “State-guaranteed free of charge and privileged medical aid and service”, persons discharged as a result of an injury, disease acquired during military service, who have not been recognized as having a disability as a result of functionality assessment, can avail themselves of state-guaranteed  free and preferential medical aid in the frame of individual rehabilitation program, yet G.M. is not receiving medical examinations and treatment in the frame of the same program. Invoking the aforementioned decision, the Ministry of Defense claims that G.M.’s status does not allow involving him in the list of beneficiaries falling within the scope of the decision.

 

Over the last three years, HCAV provided legal support to 30 servicemen, who had acquired health problems during military service. The aforementioned indicates that the state does not properly implement its obligations, as a result of which servicemen’s right to health is violated.

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