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Fake doctors prohibited from contacting former patients

The two women detained last week for posing as doctors in Olhão and promising to cure cancer patients will await trial in freedom.

They are prohibited from contacting their former clients and have to report regularly to authorities.

The women, an Austrian citizen aged 66 and a Portuguese woman aged 39, are believed to have convinced many of their clients to stop their chemotherapy treatments.

Their list of offences also includes prescribing “potentially dangerous medications” to their patients, which included adults, children and even newborn babies from all over Portugal, says a statement released by PJ criminal police.

The women operated from a “clinic” in Olhão, where they promised to treat a wide range of conditions.

The fake doctors are also believed to have convinced cancer patients, some of whom have already died, to stop their chemotherapy treatments, having provided them “alternative therapies, medications and supplements which are not registered or authorised in Portugal and were produced or changed by the two, some of them with labels detailing potentially dangerous mixtures, especially when administered to cancer patients,” the statement adds.

Several of these medications were seized during the police operation which led to the duo’s arrest and was aided by members of national medicines authority Infarmed, the Health Regulation Authority and the Psychologists Council.

Each appointment is said to have cost €50, with payments always in cash.