From 1 to 10 September, 2019, the “Media Advocate” initiative followed online media reports on the RA Minister of Health, Arsen Torosyan’s personality and activities.
35 leading Armenian news agencies have been monitored.
In the specified period, 654 articles were declared, 331 of which were negative, 33 were positive and 290 were neutral.
The previous 10 days were negative for the RA Minister of Health Arsen Torosyan. The minister was at the center of a series of scandals. As a result, a large number of negative articles were published.
According to media outlets, Arsen Torosyan’s godchild, Gevorg Simonyan, director of the “Scientific Centre of Radiation Medicine and Burns” (SCRMB) CJSC, has insulted David Grigoryan, the head of the laboratory’s diagnostic center, holding a scientific degree, by sending him a notice of dismissal and proposing him a job of a laborer or a technician. David Grigoryan, in his turn, defined this action as a cynicism.
During the past 10 days, a press conference organized for Arsen Torosyan has also become a problematic issue. Former adviser to the minister, Gevorg Tamanyan tried to ask questions to the minister during the press conference but Arsen Torosyan did not answer to the and left the conference room. Discussions started in the media and on the social networks, according to which Arsen Torosyan should’ve stayed in the room and should’ve answered to the questions, as the public has a right to be aware of the situation.
Arsen Torosyan accused YSMU rector Armen Muradyan of acting against him. In his turn, Armen Muradyan responded to the minister, noting that Arsen Torosyan once said: “50 people have become disabled and 50 people are going to die disabled. Why did you spend so much money?” This, according to Armen Muradyan, refereed to the cost of maintaining the soldiers’ rehabilitation center. After it, one could find numerous posts on the social networks urging minister to resign. Some time later, Arsen Torosyan’s spokesperson denied this information via Facebook post, but the public continues to criticize the minister up to now.
According to another publication, Arsen Torosyan increased the amount allocated to his wife’s medical center from the state budget by another 14 million by making it reach to 71.18 million. The newspaper wrote: “It turns out that even the hot discussions did not prevent Arsen Torosyan from making changes to the state order and increased the allocated amount, that is MIBS will receive 71.18 million AMD this year, which exceeds the planned amount by 14.14 million: the allocation plan was approved in the beginning of 2019. All this information is posted on the official website of the Ministry of Health.”
Information was disseminated on social networks, and later in media, according to which Arsen Torosyan’s relatives were calling medical center executives and threatening them. According to them, they were instructing directors to deliver speeches on social networks and media trying to defend Arsen Torosyan.
Some media outlets also published data of social survey, according to which Arsen Torosyan has the lowest rating among the ministers.
It should be reminded that several months ago Arsen Torosyan had a high rating and was even nominated as a “The Most Positively Covered Politician” within the framework of the “Media Shield” award organized by the “Media Advocate” Initiative. In fact, Minister’s positive image has been tarnished over the months.