Dr. Omar Atiq is an oncologist who established the Arkansas Cancer Institute in Pine Bluff in 1991. NBC affiliate KARK-TV reports that on Monday, he wrote to his patients that the debts would be erased.
“I hope this note finds you well. The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to serve you as a patient. Although various health insurances pay most of the bills for majority of patients, even the deductibles and co-pays can be burdensome. Unfortunately, that is the way our health care system currently works. Arkansas Cancer Clinic is closing its practice after over 29 years of dedicated service to the community. The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients. Happy Holidays.”
Dr. Atiq told the outlet this year has been tough for many and he was happy to be able to financially aid his patients. “Being sick is hard, having cancer is harder, and having Cancer in this pandemic is devastating,” he said.
The doctor has treated thousands of people through his clinic but has never forgiven debt before. “I am just a regular physician—a regular person that they have in the neighborhood—just so happens to be me standing here,” he said. “The ones struggling couldn’t pay, so we thought we could just write off the debt.”
He continued, “I love them, I care for them, and I am glad I was able to do a little bit at this point for them.”
Dr. Atiq says he worked with a billing company to eliminate the debt so none of his patients will have to deal with any consequences.
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