Surgeon with 40 years of experience has sued the hospital: “If this issue is not solved, we will emigrate”00:00, July 27, 2011 | Press Release | Right to Fair Trial, Right to labor
70-year-old Norik Melikyan submitted a lawsuit to Lori Region Court of First Instance with a claim that #1 Vanadzor hospital complex named after L. Areshyan” CJSC should consider the supplementary contract N 193/6, signed for fixed period on 01. 06. 2010 void, instead of a labor contracts signed for unlimited period.
Besides, the former surgeon of the hospital demands to restore his former position, make an exaction for the whole period of enforced outage including bank interests prescribed by law. “My family lives on my salary. We are in a deadlock now. My family is starving; I have borrowed some money to hold out for some time. If this issue is not solved we will have to emigrate”, says Norik Melikyan who has worked in # 1 hospital complex since 1977.
The hospital had signed a labor contract for unlimited period with him until 2010.
“I don’t understand what happened that they signed a contract for fixed term and after it had expired they dismissed me”, wonders Melikyan. Araik Zalyan, plaintiff party Melikyan’s representative and lawyer from Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly -Vanadzor, stated in the court that by initially signing a fixed-term labor contract, the labor right of the citizen has been violated. In lawyer’s opinion, a doctor’s job is not one that might become unnecessary in a year especially considering that the person had been working in the same medical institution for a very long time.
“Article 95 of the RA Labor Code defines that a fixed-term contract is signed if labor relations cannot be defined for unlimited period taking into account the nature or performance conditions of the work”, explains Araik Zalyan. He adds that under these circumstances a fixed-time labor contract can be signed only in case the work to be performed or conditions of performance have a non permanent nature or when preconditions stipulated by Parts 2 and 3 of Article 95 of RA Labor Code are concerned.
The Committee established by the Governor has undertaken the role of a preliminary investigation body. The letter submitted to the court by the head of #1 hospital complex reveals that surgeon Norik Melikyan was dismissed from his job based on his retirement age, the conclusion of the Committee established by N177 decree of Lori Region Governor on April 26, 2011 over the death of Vanadzor painter Karen Davtyan (Kapo), who died in a car accident in April of this year and guided by the assignment of RA Lori Region Governor. The Legal Department of the Labor Inspection informed that the retirement age is 63, but if the person has worked after that age, he cannot be dismissed at the age of 70 for having reached a retirement age at 63. Besides, the legal basis of dismissing N. Melikyan is that on June 1, 2011 the term of signing a fixed-term labor contract on June 1, 2011 has expired. Zalyan believes that the Governor’s order must have resulted in the prolonging of the contract with the person and he was dismissed.
A major car accident happened in Vanadzor on April 18, 2011: a Volkswagen Touareg ran into a VAZ 2107 whose driver – Karen Davtyan (born in 1962, nickname – Kapo) was taken to the N 1 Vanadzor hospital complex with heavy injuries and in unconscious state. In the morning of April 19 he died. Doctor Norik Melikyan was the one to operate him. He states that Karen Davtyan had concussion of the brain, multiple fractures of ribs, lung laceration, spleen laceration, fracture of pelvic bones. “Injuries were incompatible with life, the patient died of traumatic shock. Autopsy revealed that the kidney was damaged as well, but I could have no relation to it. I merely opened his abdomen, the kidney is not in abdomen. I saw blood under the abdomen layer and called an urologist 3 times, he came and found nothing. “Ultrasonography did not show anything either”, doctor Norik Melikyan says. The now former Governor of Lori Region Aram Kocharyan instructed to temporarily dismiss the doctor on duty Norik Melikyan from performance of his responsibilities until criminal case is legally closed. The Committee established by the order of the Governor concluded that Norik Melikyan completed the medical form of stationary patient with drawbacks, did not consult all specialists and appropriate recording, conducted incomplete examination of abdominal cavity and posterior abdominal space, together with the urologist presented contradicting information to the Committee, did not include senior specialists in the operation team due to which the damage to the left kidney was not found out and was not operated.
However, lawyer Araik Zalyan states that according to the legislation coming to such a conclusion and making a decision on its basis is the prerogative of the preliminary investigation body. “The Criminal Procedure Code stipulates such authority for the preliminary investigation body. Legal proceedings have been instituted, circumstances are being specified. The preliminary investigation body will decide if there was incorrect interference by the doctor. If it is revealed that the doctor is guilty too, he will incur liability, and be dismissed from his job”. However, Norik Melikyan was not charged with incorrect medical interference during Karen Davtyan’s operation or any other professional drawbacks, so the surgeon with 40 years of experience wonders why the Governor instructed to temporarily dismiss him from performing his responsibilities: “There will be a trial and everything become clear”.