There is a new ’trend’ nowadays in Hungary – there are people using the ’doctor’ title without even high-school graduation. Authorities do not take actions to stop the delinquency.
In the past, people who did not have noble predecessors used to buy furs to obtain the ’Lord’ title. Recently, the most popular way of raising your prestige is to put the ’doctor’ title before your name, which might be a dangerous game due to its illegality.
By way of example, we can mention dr. József Cz. or better to say József Cz. who works as a hypnotist and uses the doctor title by his own decision without having any qualifications. He believes that people trust him more by this appellation even if they do not know what is the truth behind.
In psychology, the number of hocus-pocus actions like quackery and witchery is extending, as a result of which professionals are urging the creation of a Chamber to close off such swindlers.
As the Hungarian news portal Napi.hu describes the situation, there are more and more people who call themselves doctors.
According to Tibor Strasser, lawyer, consequences of the title’s usage can differ legally. If somebody with primary school education introduces himself/herself as doctor, it is only a minor foul without any punishment. However, if official documents are signed, legally he/she commits falsification of documents which aftereffects several years-long imprisonment.
It is hard to get such swindlers arrested; however, the Hungarian police force does as much as it can. The local police station initiated infringement proceedings against József Cz. who must pay a significant amount of financial penalty as a consequence.
After the case, Napi.hu was curious how the issues of falsified documents are controlled by the Hungarian Court of Registry and National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV).
Three questions were asked from the authorities:
If the signature of an official document contains doctor title, do the authority ask for proof in forms of diploma or other relevant certificate?
If it is revealed that someone used the title illegitimately, is it considered as an infringement of the law or a crime?
Was anyone pinched for falsification of documents?
Budapest Municipal Court answered in a brief message accordingly: They do not have the right and the responsibility to check personal data as the submitted documents are not personal records but company registers. Furthermore, there are several electronic procedures for which authorisation of a legal representative is needed.
NAV explained that personal data of domestic natural persons are registered in their database, including doctor title as well. Therefore, these data are taken into consideration throughout the procedures, regardless of the submitted documents filled out by the customer. The tax office also gets informed in case of any change – such as a new title – as their database is refreshing continuously. As far as tax proceedings are concerned, the difference in the title of a person does not have importance.
None of the authorities clarified whether there was anyone who was pinched for falsification of documents.