Five health professionals arrested for fraud and spread of disease

Lisbon, 16 Jul 2020 (Lusa) – Five professionals linked to the health sector were today arrested by the Judicial Police (PJ) in an operation that involved searches of medical clinics, homes and companies and which investigates crimes of corruption, qualified fraud, document forgery and spread of disease.

According to a statement by the PJ on “Operation Therapy”, in which two men and three women were detained, this is a fraudulent scheme for the provision of treatments not reimbursed by any health subsystem, especially by the Institute for Protection and Assistance in the Disease (ADSE).

“However, due to the fact that acts different from those performed are billed, the subsystems proceed with requests for reimbursements submitted by their beneficiaries”, says PJ.

The investigative acts – the PJ also reveals – are related to the performance of “ozone therapies”, which are not reimbursed by the health subsystems, and there is also no convention or protocol between ADSE and these clinics. In addition, according to the PJ, they are carried out by professionals but who are not properly qualified.

“There are indications that the suspects resorted to practices, convincing users that ozone therapy is effective in the treatment of covid-19 or that it allows them to gain immunity, exploring the fragility and vulnerability of people afraid of the virus or even infected, the suspects knowing that with the practice of these acts they can contribute for the spread of contagious disease, creating danger for the life or serious danger for the physical integrity of the victims and third parties “, states the PJ.

In these clinics, clinical analyzes were also carried out, namely to detect infection by SARS-Cov-2, which causes covid-19, without being licensed or meeting the necessary conditions, namely clinical management.

The operation, in charge of the National Unit to Combat Corruption of the PJ, was carried out by 50 members of that police and had the collaboration of the Ordem dos Médicos. In addition to the searches and arrest warrants, the police action also made it possible to collect evidence that substantiates the crimes imputed in the investigation.

The police investigations were accompanied by an attorney from the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action and a judge from the Central Court of Criminal Investigation.

The detainees are between 32 and 62 years old and will be subjected to the first judicial interrogation to apply coercion measures.


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