The speakers included Artur Sakunts, chairman of HCA Vanadzor office, Armine Sadikyan, coordinator of Coordinator of HCA-Vanadzor Peace-building Department and medical expert Vardan Hambardzumyan.
The speakers told the journalists that the majority of violations concerned the lack of a proper medical examination.
“35 out of 45 applications referred to health issues. Health problems are neglected and people are drafted regardless their health state. We study the papers, consult medical experts and finally apply to the Ministry of Defense. The replies we get, though, sound the same,” said Armine Sadikyan.
The Media Center invited a representative of the Ministry of Defense to the press conference but the Ministry rejected the invitation.
Sadikyan went on saying, “We have filed 20 submissions to the Ministry of Defense and had only 7 appropriate and timely answers. Many conscripts claim they have been found suited to the limited service in the army, but they are still sent to military bases.”
Vardan Hambardzumyan spoke on the three phases of the medical examination a conscript has to undergo. “Medical commissions adjunct to recruitment offices do not have many violations. They delegate to medical commissions adjunct to hospitals where we see the highest number of violations.”
The main obstacle conscripts have to face is that they do not have an access to their documents which is a violation of the Law on Medical Aid and Population Services, Hambardzumyan said.
Vardan Hambardzumyan said that Order 410 of the Defense Ministry has no provisions defining the criteria for severity of some illnesses. ‘There is a biased approach to criteria for dysfunction determination since doctors themselves determine the stage of dysfunction.”
The MoD has a selective approach to the issues they voice, Artur Sakunts believes.
“We can state that a person is drafted regardless of the combination of illnesses he has. He is considered suited to the physical demands. We believe it humiliating because that very person cannot serve in the army properly which makes him vulnerable. It leads to discipline violations and, unfortunately, to death,” Sakunts said.
The appeal mechanism of a medical act must be developed in Armenia, Artur Sakunts believes.
Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator
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