Armenia’s Defense Ministry refuses to continue to pay for former soldier’s cancer treatment

Thu 14 September 2017 05:49 GMT | 09:49 Local Time

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Former Armenian servicewoman Vardanush Kirakosyan was in 2014 diagnosed with breast cancer.

The woman claims the disease was caused by the “dangerous conditions” in the air defence forces; nevertheless Armenia’s defense ministry refuses to cover the costs for Kirakosyan’s treatment, Hraparak.am reports.

The woman, who served 22 years in the Armenian army, has futilely turned to numerous state agencies for financial support. The General Staff of the Armed Forces, in particular, said in a 2015 response to Kirakosyan: “The drug needed for your treatment, Herceptin, is extremely expensive and is not included in the armed forces’ medical commission’s list of expenses.”

In the last month of his tenure, former defense minister Seyran Ohanyan met with the woman and subsequently transferred 5 million drams to her account for 8 bottles of the drug. Kirakosyan, however, needs 4 more bottles to complete the course. With the appointment of new defense minister Vigen Sargsyan, however, the agency again began denying Kirakosyan any help. As a result of delayed and improper treatment, the woman’s health has begun deteriorating again. Defense ministry spokesperson Artsrun Hovhannisyan, meanwhile, insisted in response to Hraparak’s inquiry that “there is no reason to believe that the disease was caused by the military service.”

“Soldiers with cancer had better give up any hope when it comes to the defense ministry. They should forget about the 1000-dram fund and Vigen Sargsyan’s promises. Who is this fund for when the ministry refuses to help living humans and to extend the life of at least 1 soldier a year?” Hraparak argues.

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