Orlando Hospitals Won't Make Pulse Nightclub Shooting Victims Pay $5 Million Medical Bills
One hospital said it would seek payment elsewhere
The hospitals that treated the victims of June’s Pulse nightclub shooting won’t ask them to pay their medical bills, which could top $5 million, PEOPLE confirms.
A majority of those victims injured in the shooting were taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center – and the hospital says none of those victims will see a bill. (Forty-nine people were killed and at least 53 more were injured at the gay-friendly hot spot in Orlando, Florida, when a gunman opened fire there on June 12, authorities have said.)
“Orlando Health has not sent any hospital or medical bills directly to Pulse patients and we don’t intend to pursue reimbursement of medical costs from them,” according to a statement obtained by PEOPLE from Orlando Regional’s parent network, Orlando Health.
“We are exploring numerous options to help the victims of the Pulse nightclub tragedy address immediate and ongoing medical costs,” Orlando Health said.
In the statement, officials noted that the hospital’s total unreimbursed costs “could exceed $5 million.”
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A Florida Hospital Orlando official tells PEOPLE that they, too, will not charge the victims, but did not give details about the hospital’s plans to cover the costs.
“It was incredible to see how our community came together in the wake of the senseless Pulse shooting,” Florida Health President and CEO Daryl Tol said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando.”
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Tol said that the hospital treated 12 of the shooting victims and the total bill amounts to approximately $525,400.
Nine people injured at the club later died at Orlando Regional, the Washington Post reports. The hospital treated 44 victims total.
Police say Omar Mateen was shot and killed by authorities hours after he attacked the club, in the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, just after 2 a.m. on June 12.
“I can’t stop crying,” survivor Carmen Pena told PEOPLE soon after the massacre. “I feel so sick. It was awful.”