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Doctor Wipes Away $650,000 In Debt From Hundreds Of Cancer Patients

by : Niamh Shackleton on :
Doctor Wipes Away $650,000 In Debt From Hundreds Of Cancer PatientsKARK 4 News

A kind-hearted doctor has wiped $650,000 of debt from hundreds of his cancer patients. 

Arkansas-based doctor Omar Atiq founded his own cancer treatment centre and recently wrote to his patients informing them that their remaining debt would be cleared.

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After being open for almost 20 years, the centre sadly closed its doors in February due to staff shortages. It had offered a range of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Dr. Atiq has since sent holiday greeting cards to almost 200 patients announcing the news of their debt being cleared.

Watch Dr. Atiq speak about his heart-warming decision here:

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As per the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the note addressed to his former patients read, ‘The Arkansas Cancer Clinic was proud to have you as a patient. Although various health insurances pay most of the bills for the majority of patients, even the deductibles and co-pays can be burdensome.’

It continued:

The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients. 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. We just thought we could do it, and we wanted to, so we went ahead and did it.

Dr. Atiq, originally from Pakistan, moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1991 after completing a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and describes his move to the area as ‘fate’.

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Following the opening of the cancer centre in 1991, he went on to be the first non-White president of the Arkansas Medical Society, as well as being named chairman-elect of the board of governors of the American College of Physicians in 2018.

Prior to announcing that his patients’ debts had been scrapped, Dr. Atiq asked David Wroten, executive vice president of the Arkansas Medical Society, for his opinion on the matter.

Wroten said of their phone call, ‘When he called me, he wanted to make sure there was nothing improper about doing it. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine there would be.’

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He continued, ‘If you knew Dr. Atiq, you would better understand. First, he is one of the smartest doctors I have ever known, but he is also one of the most compassionate doctors I have ever known. He truly has a heart-felt love affair with the patients who he has seen.’

The world definitely needs more people like Dr. Atiq in it.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, Acts Of Kindness, Arkansas, Christmas, Now

Credits

Arkansas Democrat Gazette
  1. Arkansas Democrat Gazette

    Shut this year, cancer clinic forgives debts