Doctor in U.P.’s Saifai held for implanting over 250 low-quality pacemakers

Police on Tuesday arrested a heart specialist at Saifai medical university in Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district for allegedly implanting substandard pacemakers in over 250 patients between 2017 and 2021 for exorbitant fee.

Confirming the arrest, SSP, Etawah, Sanjay Varma said, “The arrested doctor identified as Dr Samir Sarraf has been taken to Lucknow where he would be produced before the court that deals with cases lodged under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.”

Station house officer (SHO), Saifai police station, Mohd Kaamil led the police team to the medical university where the doctor was arrested. Some of the patients, who were covered under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, had alleged they were forced to pay against receiving the pacemakers.

They had lodged complaints about the complications that arose after receiving the pacemakers. Following it, a two years long inquiry into the allegations, financial impropriety, was carried out. The doctor was arrested as the accusations were found true during the inquiry conducted by Etawah’s deputy SP Nagendra Chaubey.

According to Chaubey, the pacemakers were placed between 2017 and 2021. The complaints that came to the medical university showed the pacemakers were of abysmal quality though they were told the devices were imported and were of high quality and the patients were fleeced.

In 2021, the vice chancellor of the Saifai medical university Prof Raj Kumar had ordered an inquiry that revealed that the devices were locally sourced at extremely low prices. Based on these findings, the then chief medical superintendent of the Saifai medical college Dr Adesh Kumar had formally complained to the police in December 2021.

An investigation began against Dr Sarraf and others in February 2022 following which he was suspended. Dr Sarraf, who was an assistant professor with the university, also allegedly went overseas five times with his family. The trips were allegedly sponsored by the companies that he was buying the substandard equipment from.

In addition, he purchased the pacemakers and other goods worth Rs 1 crore from a firm despite the fact the catheterisation laboratory had enough supplies in 2019. According to the SHO, Saifai, the police have registered an FIR based on the complaint by the CMS and the findings of the probe.

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