Having conducted monitoring in the MSE regional committees in Aragatsotn, Lori, Shirak and Gegharkunik, ‘Full Life’ NGO drafted proposals, ultimately filing them to the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Issues.
Today Suren Maghakyan, head of ‘Full Life’ NGO, Lusine Sargsyan, PR officer at ‘Full Life’ NGO, and Anush Simonyan, deputy head of the Agency of Medical and Social Examination, shared their thoughts on the current issues.
‘We propose to develop procedures of appeal and more agile mechanisms to facilitate the process and decrease corruptions risks. Moreover, the sector needs more respectful and polite attitude, regulation of information flow which will help improve the feedback submission,’ stated Lusine Sargsyan.
‘In Spitak the examination room of the MSE committee in the basement was not accessible for disabled people; in Talin it was on the second floor of the City Hall which is again inaccessible for people with limited mobility. The same can be said of the examination room in Martuni where it is located on the third floor,’ noted Lusine Sargsyan.
Anush Simonyan, deputy head of the Agency of Medical and Social Examination, said that several of the proposals have already been accepted, with corresponding solutions to follow. The speaker singled out the issue of the appeal process presently regulated by legislation acts. Actually, in Armenia functions a multilevel system of appeal, according to which a citizen can file a claim to the MSE committee head within 2 months and undergo examination. If the MSE committee's decision does not satisfy him, he can apply to the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Issues, where a group of 3 physician-experts will review the appeal and make a decision. In case of disagreement with the decision, the citizen may submit a request to the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, which, in cooperation with the RA Ministry of Health, will establish an expert group to study the given case. If disagreeing with the final decision, the citizen may lodge a lawsuit to the court.
‘A person is considered disabled if they have an illness, injury, mutilation which remains as a body function impairment even after appropriate treatments, which resulted in a certain degree of limiting a person’s viability. These 3 components are obligatory for categorizing the applicant as a person with disabilities,’ mentioned Anush Simonyan, with respect to the claim that there are no clear criteria for categorizing disabilities.
Suren Maghakyann is convinced that the reduction of the human factor may enhance the adoption of more unbiased decisions regarding the categorization of disabilities, adding that there is a 20% of corruption risk instead of previous 47-50%. The head of ‘Full Life’ NGO emphasized that the joints efforts brought about a considerable improvement in the sector which will be enhanced after the adoption of the reform proposals.