In a statement, ARS / Algarve stated that the person who contacts the users claims to be a doctor and responsible for the regional organism's screening programme, requesting personal data and procedures "which have nothing to do with" the breast cancer screening programme in the Algarve.
"ARS / Algarve will report these occurrences to the competent authorities", reads the note, stating that the entity's screening centre was aware of the situation through complaints from users, and that these are acts "likely to affect the public's confidence in legitimate screening carried out under the Ministry of Health's programmes."
The Breast Cancer Screening Programme in the Algarve, carried out in partnership with the Algarve Cancer Association and the Algarve University Hospital Centre (CHUA), began in September 2005 and runs through all the municipalities in the region.
All women between the ages of 50 and 69 enrolled in health centres in the region are contacted for a free digital mammogram to be performed at a mobile health unit, which is moved to the health centres of each county.
"Only in exceptional cases can users be contacted by telephone, but only to reinforce the screening and never to request personal information from users of any content," said ARS / Algarve.
Screening actions are always advertised on the portal www.arsalgarve.min-saude.pt, disclosure "which can be complemented by posters, but never by personal contact, particularly by telephone", he concludes.