Orlando Health and Florida Hospital announced on Aug. 24 that they will cover the medical expenses for the survivors of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting.
“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.”
Orlando Health will alleviate the medical costs of Pulse patients—which could exceed $5 million—via several avenues, such as state and federal funds, private insurance, Florida’s crime victim compensation program, and disability insurance among others.
Orlando Regional Medical Center treated 44 shooting victims following the attack at the nightclub. Director of Media Affairs Kena L. Lewis said the hospital would continue to work with the victims in the foreseeable future.
“We can’t predict the future needs of these patients, their financial situations or what the state or federal governments may require us to do for charity policies,” she said. “While we can’t assume the answer is free care forever, we will use our very generous charity and financial assistance policies to assess the best way to ensure our patients get quality care here at Orlando Health in the most fiscally responsible manner.”
Florida Hospital will not bill the victims’ insurance or for any follow-up treatments. The facility treated 12 Pulse shooting victims, which amounted to roughly $525,400 in medical expenses.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” said Daryl Tol, Florida Hospital’s president and CEO. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
Omar Mateen gunned down 49 patrons and injured 53 at Pulse on June 12. Mateen, 29, reportedly called 911 to pledge his allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group before the attack.