Cashless care for accident victims
Victims of Road Accidents can no longer be turned away by hospitals for not carrying enough cash. Under a Central Project aimed at reducing the number of causalities the Victims will get cashless treatment for the first 48 hours after the accident. After 48 hours, the victims will be treated at the discounted rates, to be worked with the State Governments.
Insurance Companies will pick up the tab for the treatment, according to the Project to be launched by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
If the total treatment cost does not exceed Rs. 30,000/- the victims or their relatives don’t have to pay anything out of their pockets. If it exceeds the cap, they have to pay the balance. The cashless facility will extend to even those who have insurance policy. Hospitals will be allowed to charge only rates prescribed under the Centre Government, health scheme or those prescribed by the AIIMS.
The Ministry has chosen a 110 Kms stretch between Amritsar – Pathankote NH15 connecting Golden Temple and Sh. Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. The stretch was chosen because it has high vehicular traffic – 75000 vehicles ply per day on this stretch. Last year, the stretch had reported 2410 accidents.
According to all India figures for last year about 1.50 lakh persons died in road accidents while six lakh were injured and in J&K approx. 1100 died and 8400 were injured. The Ministry has directed the National Highway Authority of India to put up sign boards at every 100 meters of NH15; the sign boards will display emergency contact numbers and unique reference number to identify the exact accident spot. A call centre dedicated for the stretch will be set up. For the pilot scheme, the National Insurance Company has been given the task of monitoring the corpus and coordinating with the call centre. “It will enhance the chances of survival of the Road Accident Victim by providing proper and timely medical care during the golden hour – the crucial 60 minutes after a highway accident”
Bhumesh Sharma, KAS