This Pakistani-American doctor just forgave $650,000 debt of cancer patients

05:06 PM | 2 Jan, 2021
This Pakistani-American doctor just forgave $650,000 debt of cancer patients

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas – Dr. Omar Atiq, a Pakistani-origin oncologist in Arkansas, has forgiven $650,000 in outstanding debts from nearly 200 cancer patients.

A cancer treatment center in Pine bluff, Arkansas, founded by Dr Atiq in 1991, provided treatments ranging from chemotherapy and radiation therapy and tests such as CAT scans, has sent out holiday greetings and told patients that any outstanding bills would no longer need to be paid.

"I hope this note finds you well," wrote Dr Atiq. "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."

He informed patients that the cancer clinic was closing practice after over 29 years of service.  

"The clinic has decided to forego all balances owed to the clinic by its patients," said the note. "Happy holidays." 

"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," Dr Atiq told Arkansas Online. "We just thought we could do it, and we wanted to, so we went ahead and did it."

 Dr Atiq, who hails from Pakistan, moved to Pine Buff in 1991 after completing a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. 

The doctor is also a professor at UAMS College of Medicine and oncologist at the UAMS William P Rockefeller Cancer Institute.