Almost 200 people in Pine Bluff, Arkansas are receiving an unexpected gift from a kind doctor. That doctor, Omar Atiq, is the founder of the Arkansas Cancer Institute and an oncologist.
When he sent out his holiday greeting cards this year, he informed those cancer patients that he was wiping out their balances.
The card read:
“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.”
As a physician, he has seen the stress that the year has brought to his patients. It is more than the coronavirus pandemic, it is the strain of dealing with cancer, which carries its own emotional turmoil. Dr. Atiq made sure that none of his patients would have financial repercussions from the canceled debt by working with the billing company.
The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was established in 1991. During that time, Atiq has treated thousands of people. According to Good Morning America, he still considers himself to be just a “regular physician,” even though he canceled some $65,000 in debt.
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In the end, he perhaps sums things up best by saying that he loves them and cares for them. In his estimation, he was just glad he could do what he could for them.