The government on Wednesday said it is ready with a blueprint to implement a cashless treatment scheme for road accident victims. The scheme will have an insurance coverage cap of ₹2.5 lakh per case, as per a communication to Transport Secretaries and Commissioners of the States.
The scheme assumes significance as India accounts for about 5 lakh road accidents per annum, one of the highest globally, in which about 1.5 lakh people are killed and about 3 lakh are crippled.
“Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has prepared a blueprint for implementing the scheme of cashless treatment of motor accident victims, as contemplated under the MV Act, 2019. This includes treatment of victims during the crucial golden hour,” the Ministry said in a statement.
In this regard, the Transport Ministry has written to Principal Secretaries and Secretaries in charge of Transport in all States and Union Territories soliciting their views on concept note of the scheme by the 10th of this month. The scheme also includes creation of a Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.
“The National Health Authority being the nodal agency for PM-JAY (Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana) and having footfall across he country with over 21,000 hospitals on board has been entrusted to implement the scheme,” the statement said.
The Ministry further said that the scheme envisages “to provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in the country”.
The fund would be utilised for treatment of road accident victims and for payment of compensation to the injured or to the family of person losing life in hit and run cases, the statement said.
The proposed modalities of the scheme have been designed in a way that they allow access to quality care at the right time for all individuals, irrespective of their capability to pay, it added.
NHA’s robust IT platforms which are used for implementing PM-JAY may be leveraged to provide cashless treatment for road accident victims for treatment including the golden hour (first hour of the accident), the communication to the states said.
“All road accident victims of Indian or foreign nationality will be considered eligible for the scheme as its beneficiary. The scheme will have a cap of ₹2.5 lakh/person/accident,” as per the communication.
Trauma and healthcare services to road accident victim will be financed through an account which will be established under the road ministry for the implementation of the scheme, it said.
“The funds will have contributions from the insurance companies through general insurance council for ensured vehicles and for hit-and-run-cases,” the communication said and added that the ministry will pay for the accidents for uninsured vehicles.
Besides, the vehicle owners will be liable to pay the cost of treatment as a part of compensation in case of uninsured vehicles.
As many as 32 of 36 states/union territories are implementing PM-JAY and the scheme provides benefits to about 13 crore families.
Under the scheme, victims will be provided access to cashless trauma care treatment at the nearest appropriate hospital in the country, as per the communication.
“Hospitals have to ensure provision of stabilisation in case they refer the patient to an empaneled PM-JAY hospital where the complete treatment may be provided,” it said.