searing near woman's forehead

Fake doctor and nurse accused of disfiguring patients in ‘illegal medical acts’

Duo ran ‘beauty clinics’ in Mafra and Lisbon

A man, aged 50, and a woman aged 35, are official suspects in an investigation into allegations that they disfigured various people through ‘illegal medical acts’.

The duo ran two beauty clinics, in Mafra and Lisbon, between 2019 and January 10 this year, writes tabloid Correio da Manhã.

During that time, “various victims who sought beauty treatments were disfigured by both who, passing themselves off as a doctor and nurse, injected substances like hyaluronic acid (a natural substance that can be artificially injected and helps the skin remain hydrated)”.

The pair have been made ‘official suspects’ following police searches at their homes and places of work.

They face crimes of causing grievous bodily harm, misrepresentation of functions, and document falsification.

This investigation reportedly began in 2019, following a complaint made to the Order of Physicians (Ordem dos Médicos) relating to a “fraudulent medical practice” undertaken at one of the clinics.

“A victim was injected with hyaluronic acid, in an operation to plumpen her lips. The woman now identified as a suspect passed herself off as a nurse, without having the necessary certification” and “the result was a serious bodily infection of the patient, who was left in a life-threatening condition. After (hospitalisation) and various operations, the patient was left with deformity and loss of feeling in her lips”, writes CM.

PSP police “received the inquiry” back in 2019, and “in four years, agents gathered proof against the two suspects”.

Further situations “in which the two suspects deformed the physical appearances of patients with illegal medical practices were identified”, says CM, which adds that witness statement taken by police agents recounted “the terror” of people who thought they had been in the hands of licensed professionals.

Among the items ‘apprehended’ by police when they searched the clinics earlier this month were “sundry medication that had passed its expiry date, various computers, syringes, needles, anesthetics, botox, and over €10,000 in cash”.

The two suspects have been released on the lightest of bail terms (the order to remain living at their residences) and “are prohibited from realising medical practices”, says CM.

The paper stresses that this is just one case among many identified by authorities. In “just the first six months of last year” health & safety entity ASAE lodged 90 criminal proceedings for almost identical (alleged) crimes – some of them even committed in hairdressing salons.

ASAE adds that among illegal practices are “invasive techniques like tension threads for facial harmonisation” which should only be carried out by medical professionals, but which are currently seen by ‘suspects’ as “a very lucrative activity”.

Diario de Notícias meantime has added that the PSP police force “advises all citizens wishing to enjoy aesthetic treatments to check the conditions and competences of the places providing these services before starting any treatment”. ND

Source material: Correio da Manhã/ Diário de Notícias