A GP who made £350,000 a year with a ‘report-writing factory’ for fraudulent personal injury claims has been struck off.
Dr Asef Zafar, 54, rattled out 5,000 papers per year at around £70 a go to make money on top of his lucrative NHS salary. The Surrey-based doctor was eventually caught out when a personal injury law firm accidentally submitted two of his reports, one of which was accurate and the other one spuriously altered to exaggerate the claimant’s pain.
Zafar was suspended by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in 2019 and after losing an appeal against his punishment he has been struck off from the register for misconduct. At the High Court in London Lord Justice Davis said: ‘He, remarkably, seems to have developed a system where he apparently could examine a patient or client and produce a report in the space of approximately 15 minutes.
‘He was to say that he might produce some 5,000 reports a year, with an annual gross income of around £350,000. Quite how he was able to fit all this around his NHS responsibilities is not clear: and at all events it seems that his NHS premises were frequently used for his private medico-legal practice.’
The judge heard how the dishonest operation went on for 12 years before it all came falling down.
Zafar narrowly avoided jail in 2018 after a personal injury law firm accidentally submitted two of his reports.
One accurately told how a taxi driver injured in a crash had been in pain for one week, while the other report claimed he had suffered six to eight months of pain.
Zafar and solicitor Kamar Khan – whose firm TKW was shut down in 2016 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority – were found guilty of contempt of court.
Khan was jailed for 15 months and Zafar handed a six-month suspended sentence.
The dodgy doctor was then suspended from practise by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in 2019.
But the case was taken to the Court of Appeal by the General Medical Council and the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, who argued the punishment was ‘gravely wrong’.
The court quashed the suspension and instead struck him off from the medical register for misconduct.
Lord Justice Davis ruled: ‘Erasure is the only proper sanction. Accordingly, I would direct erasure of Dr Zafar’s name from the Medical Register.’