Arkansas doctor pays off 650,000 debt of cancer patients

Dr. Omar Atiq of Arkansas closed his cancer clinic in Pine Bluffs after close to three decades of business.

As part of the process, he needed to wind down outstanding debts. He tried for months to work with the billing company to resolve the matter, but he quickly decided it wasn’t worth it.

Dr. Atiq told Good Morning America, "Over time, I realized 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."

Dr. Atiq’s practice never turned away people who were sick simply because of a lack of insurance or funds.

Around 200 of Dr. Atiq’s former patients received a notice that the clinic was closing, and their debt had been cleared.

The total amount cleared was a little over $650,000.

"I saw patients over the years who just didn’t have anything or who went bankrupt trying to pay for their treatment," Dr. Atiq said. "In many ways it seems like a totally unfair situation."

"I just hope that it made it a little bit easier for them. That’s it," Dr. Atiq added. "I just hope that it gave them a little sigh of relief and made it easier for them so they could face other challenges they may be facing in their lives."

Photo: Getty Images

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