The founder of a cancer clinic told some 200 patients this holiday he would not be collecting on some $650,000 in medical debt from them.
Arkansas Online reports Dr. Omar Atiq informed his patients in a holiday greeting card.
Atiq closed the Arkansas Cancer Institute in Pine Bluff earlier this year due to staff shortages. He founded the clinic in 1991.
“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,” the Pakistani American doctor said to Arkansas Online. “We just thought we could do it, and we wanted to, so we went ahead and did it.”
Atiq opened the clinic in 1991 after completing a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Throughout the years, thousands of patients have walked through his doors.
“Being sick is hard, having cancer is harder, and having Cancer in this pandemic is devastating,” said Atiq to Fox16. “I am just a regular physician– a regular person that they have in the neighborhood– just so happens to be me standing here,” Atiq said. “The ones struggling couldn’t pay, so we thought we could just write off the debt.”
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