New Delhi, June 21: 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 casualties — many die because of lack of immediate critical care — victims will get cashless treatment for the first 48 hours after the accident.
Insurance companies will pick up the tab for the treatment, according to the project to be launched by the road transport and highways ministry. After 48 hours, the victim will be treated at discounted rates, to be worked out with state governments.
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 an insurance policy.
Hospitals will be allowed to charge only rates prescribed under the Central Government Health Scheme or those prescribed by AIIMS.
The ministry has chosen a 110km stretch between Amritsar and Pathankot on NH15 to roll out the first pilot project for the scheme. It will carry out five other studies before launching the project across India. “We are working on this pilot project in Punjab since this stretch sees a high number of accidents. The pilot project will start in a few months,” joint secretary Nitin R. Gokarn said.
According to all-India figures for last year, about 1.34 lakh persons died in road accidents while 6 lakh were injured.
Under the project, the financial assistance to the victims will be provided essentially by the Calcutta-headquartered National Insurance Company. Insurance firms can recover the money from the errant vehicle’s insurance.
“Insurance firms are bleeding because of the high number of accidents. With this project, we are essentially trying to bring down the number of deaths and also the liability on insurance firms,” said a ministry source.
The ministry has directed the National Highways Authority of India to put up signboards at every 100 metres of NH15. The signboards will display emergency contact numbers and a unique reference number to identify the exact accident spot. A call centre, dedicated for this stretch, will be set up.
Courtesy: The Telegraph
With reference to the above news, we—members of HUMANISTS’ ASSOCIATION place the following demand.
Cashless care for Accident victims in West Bengal
It is a welcome decision and it makes immense sense that all victims of road accidents should get immediate free treatment for 48 hours at any hospital.
News from New Delhi dated 21st June,2012 says a central project aims at reducing road accidents by taking certain measures with NHAI and by providing free treatment up to a limit of Rs.30000/-. The pilot project will start in Punjab.
It is clear from the way ‘free treatment’ & ‘road safety’ are linked together, that the Government is afraid that it might have to pay heavily on account of this scheme. Ha ha … we all knew that in our country death and disability caused by road accidents are among the highest in the world. Good, if at last common sense does prevail.
Now in line with the above decision – our demand from the West Bengal state government is that –
- All road accident victims shall get immediate attention and free treatment from the nearest hospital/nursing home.
- Road accidents will include falls from buildings or bamboo structures while working on construction sites or any other accident.
The state government that can spend crores for lighting up and beautifying the streets or for helping Haj pilgrims & family members of liquor victims can surely do this. Then only we can be closer to LONDON.
So our request to the Chief Minister Smt Mamata Banerjee is that –
Please issue immediate circular to all hospitals and nursing homes to this effect.
- All accident victims brought to the emergency shall be treated immediately (without asking to pay first), up to 48 hours if needed. People should not hesitate to rush to the nearest hospital/nursing home/clinic for fear of payment.
- As the opposite is inhuman and unethical, any hospital refusing to treat for lack of money should be taken to task.
Let West Bengal be a pioneer in this field and show the way to others. We are aware of the poor medical facilities in W.B. Daily hundreds of patients travel from Kolkata to Chennai, Vellore, Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi for treatment of common ailments. To change this pathetic situation, we have to start somewhere. It will be a step forward towards humanity & ethics. People here are generally helpful, but fear of harassment make them apathetic towards road accident victims. Let us change this attitude. We need this small help from the state to start with.
Let us start with this—
CASHLESS TREATMENT OF ACCIDENT VICTIMS.