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Covid-19 Embezzlement Charges Baseless, Says Yerevan Medical Center

Yerevan’s Medline Medical Center says it did not falsify medical records in a scheme to embezzle funds from a state-financed Covid-19 treatment program.

Last week, Medline Director Babken Shahumyan was arrested on suspicion of submitting false medical records to the Ministry of Health that resulted in the embezzlement of 119 million AMD (US$307,000).

Also arrested was Yerevan Deputy Mayor Gevorg Simonyan who served as Deputy Minister of Health (2020-2022). Simonyan is charged with dereliction of his duties in not reporting the financial irregularities due to his past cozy relationship with the Medline director.

Medline, in a statement released today, claims the Anti-Corruption Committee’s (ACC) charge that it falsified patient data was based on incorrect “incorrect concepts and interpretations of medical science and treatment procedures.”

“Thanks to the superhuman efforts and round-the-clock work of the medical staff of the Medline Medical Center, we managed to save thousands of lives, restore the health of thousands of people, and reduce the number of deaths to a minimum. Between 2020 and 2022, Medline Clinic received and served 6,948 patients infected with coronavirus. Our efforts were well appreciated by our patients, the public, and the state,” the Medline statement reads.

Medline says it continues to cooperate with investigators to clear its name and continues to provide “professional and superior medical care and service to all those in need.”

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