(Arkansas) Dr. Omar Atiq – graduate of Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan has wiped away $650,000 in debt for nearly 200 of his patients with cancer. Dr. Omar, an oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, sent out a holiday greeting to patients before Christmas, letting them know their outstanding payments would be cleared.
“I hope this note finds you well. The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to serve you as a patient. Although various health insurers pay most of the bills for [the] majority of patients, even the deductibles and co-pays can be burdensome,” the card read as reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
“The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients. Happy Holidays.”
The clinic, which provided cancer treatments ranging from chemotherapy and radiation therapy to diagnostics, closed in late February due to staffing shortages.
Outstanding patient bills totalled nearly $650,000. However, the clinic worked with a billing company to cancel the debt.
“We thought there was not a better time to do this than during a pandemic that has decimated homes, people’s lives and businesses and all sorts of stuff,” Atiq said. “We just thought we could do it, and we wanted to, so we went ahead and did it.”