Two hospitals in Orlando, Florida, will not bill survivors of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Wednesday. Instead, the Orlando Health and Florida Hospital will write off an estimated $5.5 million (approximately Rs 36.8 crore) in medical costs for those injured in the June 12 massacre, in which 49 people were killed.
Orlando Health President David Strong called the Pulse shooting a “horrendous tragedy” and said the waiving of medical fees was the company’s way of showing its support to the community. While health insurers providing coverage to those treated by Orlando Health will receive bills, the hospital will write off anything not covered by their policies.
Meanwhile, Florida Hospital said it will not bill the survivors’ insurers and will forego issuing fees for any follow-up surgeries those injured will need. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando,” said Florida Hospital Chief Executive Officer Daryl Tol.
Orlando Health treated 44 of those injured in the shooting, while Florida Hospital treated 12, according to CNN. A man, later identified as Omar Mateen, opened fire at the gay nightclub in an “organised and well-prepared” attack. While the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the carnage, investigators said there was no direct evidence linking them to the crime committed by the 29-year-old shooter.