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February 5, 2023

Hunedoara network of disability record counterfeiters, exposed

A check run by Labour Ministry experts revealed a wide network of people involved in the release of fake disability records in Hunedoara. The network caused severe losses to the state budget, according to daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei.’

In many cases, people who had disability certificates were actually found working abroad or having driver’s licences. A total of 180 files were checked recently and severe irregularities were found in 130 of the cases, the newspaper said.

The checks conducted by the Labour Ministry’s General Department for People with Disabilities found that several people who received financial support from the state, being registered as suffering from severe mental and physical disabilities, actually had labour agreements abroad, were going shopping by themselves, taking bike rides or even driving cars, having obtained their licence either before or after getting their certificate attesting that they were disabled.

Labour Minister Sebastian Lazaroiu went to Hundoara on Tuesday morning, in order to check the results of the investigation conducted by experts. When learning of the irregularities, the minister demanded tougher sanctions in such cases, but also a more thorough vetting of non-governmental organisations that protect the rights of disabled people. He also asked that all doctors who granted disability certificates illegally face a criminal probe.

Lazaroiu further added that in order to change this system, it would be necessary for the College of Doctors to get involved. “I will ask that this institution be turned into a trade union that will oversee doctors and sanction them when they violate their profession,” Lazaroiu said.

According to Labour Ministry data, Hunedoara has the highest number of disabled people among all other western counties – 4.4 per cent, about one per cent more than in Timis and almost double the figure reported in Arad.

Moreover, 90 per cent of the 18,000 disabled people in the county are registered as suffering from severe disabilities.

The checks also found that eight doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists were involved in the network. The eight will face an investigation.

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