PETALING JAYA, Jan 6 ― American doctor Dr Omar Atiq has erased RM2.6 million worth of debt (US$650,000) for 200 of his cancer patients after realising that they were unable to pay for their bills amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Daily Mail, the founder of The Arkansas Cancer Clinic had been operating on his patients for close to 30 years had to close its doors in March last year as a result of staff shortages.
Omar was reported to have been working with a billing company for months to try to collect payments from his former patients, but soon made the decision to stop reaching out to them.
“Over time I realised that there are people who were just unable to pay for their bills, so my family and I thought about it and decided to forgive all their debts,” he said.
He then sent Christmas cards to his former patients last year and told them that their outstanding balances had been erased, according to ABC News.
Working on a sweet story tonight.— Hunter Hoagland (@HunterHoagland) December 30, 2020
Around 200 cancer patients in Pine Bluff got this holiday card a few days ago— Dr. Omar Atiq who founded the Arkansas Cancer Clinic is forgiving all outstanding debts owed by patients.
He says they wiped away bills totaling around $650,000. pic.twitter.com/IHnQ3IAv15
The Christmas card wrote : “The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to serve you as a patient.
“Although various health insurance companies pay most of the bills for the majority of patients, even the deductibles and copays can be burdensome.
“Unfortunately, that is the way our health care system currently works.
“The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients. Happy Holidays.”
He also told Arkansas Online that there is no better time to help his former patients especially during the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected people’s lives and businesses.