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Hospitals won't bill Florida nightclub shooting victims

Two hospitals that treated victims of this summer's attack on the Orlando gay night club Pulse will not bill survivors for out-of-pocket medical expenses -- more than $5 million -- officials announced.

"The Pulse shooting was a horrendous tragedy for the victims, their families, and our entire community," Orlando Health president and CEO David Strong said in a statement.

"During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."

The health network's main hospital treated most of the 53 injured people who required immediate medical attention in the aftermath of the June 12 massacre, which left 49 dead.

Nine victims died after arriving at the hospital.

Orlando Health will not charge patients or their families directly and will for other ways to shoulder costs instead, including federal funds, private insurance, disability insurance and the state's crime victim compensation program.

Florida Hospital, which treated a dozen club-goers, said it would not even bill victims' insurance for care costs or any potential follow-up surgery.

"It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting," Florida Hospital's president and CEO Daryl Tol said in the local Orlando Sentinel newspaper. "We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando."

Florida Hospital said treatment costs at its facility totaled more than $525,000.

The authorities are still investigating the attack that ended when police killed the gunman, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen of Afghan origin, after a three-hour standoff.

Topics: United States , Florida , Shootings , Attack , Gay , Healthcare
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