Vakhtang Mikayelyan, a 49-year-old resident of New Kharberd, a village just south of Yerevan, needs emergency heart surgery.
His son Hayk has been forced to find the money needed and has turned to the media for help.
Vakhtang Mikayelyan suffered a heart attack on October 17 and was taken by ambulance to Yerevan’s Erebouni Medical Center where surgeons installed a non-medicated stent based at no-charge based on a government program.
The Erebouni Medical Center’s affidavit says that Mr. Mikayelyan needs a coronary artery shunt.
Hayk told Hetq that the required shunt, needed to save his father’s life, will cost 2.5 million AMD ($5,240).
“The doctors all told me that my father need immediate surgery. I was told the same at all the hospitals I took him to,” Hayk says.
Hayk renovates apartments. Appealing to the media, he says the family doesn’t need food or clothing; just money to pay for the operation.
At first, he was quoted 2.8 million AMD for the procedure. Later, the center dropped the price by 300,000 AMD. Other medical centers in Yerevan quoted the same 2.5 million AMD price to Hayk.
Mr. Mikayelyan was discharged from the Erebouni Medical Center a few days ago. He’s resting at home and taking medications.
Hayk says the family, at best, can come up with 1 million AMD.
The son contacted the Ministry of Health regarding an operation for his father. The ministry responded by quoting the law on the books regarding cardiac surgery employing modern and expensive technologies, claiming that such procedures were done on a paid basis. The only exception, per the law, are for those who are members of a family with a high social vulnerability rating, children under the age of seven, children between the ages of 7-18 who are impoverished, certain military personnel, and social package beneficiaries.
Vakhtang Mikayelyan suffered a heart attack in 2009 and was granted a second level disability pension. He failed to file a renewal for his disability status and the pension was cut.
“On Tuesday I saw the minister. He said there was nothing he could do, advising me to find the 2.2 million somewhere. The minister said he’d then call and get the 2.5 million price dropped by 300,000. If I can come up with the 2.2 million, I can find the 300,000,” Hayk says, adding that he’ll even take a loan from somebody.
Hayk says he’s at his wits end about what to do. His friends have suggested that he contact the prime minister for help.