Some doctors are here to help.
A doctor from the United States of America decided to completely erase the debt of nearly 200 cancer patients.
According to reports, Dr. Omar Atiq, an Oncologist, wiped off $650,000 worth of bills after realizing that his cancer patients were unable to pay.
Dr. Ati closed his cancer clinic in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in March of last year after staying 29 years in business.
As he worked with a billing company to try and collect payments that he had treated, Atiq made the big decision.
Nearly 200 people received Christmas cards from Atiq last year and it had a letter.
The letter said:
The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to have 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.
During an interview with Good Morning America, Dr. Atiq explained why he did it.
Over time I realised that there are people who just are unable to pay. So my wife and I, as a family, we thought about it and looked at forgiving all the debt. We saw that we could do it and then just went ahead and did it. Since I started practicing, I’ve always been rather uncomfortable with sick patients not only having to worry about their own health and quality of life and their longevity and their families and their jobs but also money. That’s always tugged at me. You add to it the absolute devastation that the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought, and you think thank God that we’re fairly comfortable and this was something we could at least do to help the community. I saw patients over the years who just didn’t have anything or who went bankrupt trying to pay for their treatment. In many ways it seems like a totally unfair situation.
After shutting down his clinic, Dr. Atiq started a new career.
He is now working as a professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
4 of his children are doctors and are trying to become doctors.
What an inspiration, right?