A new cashless treatment scheme for road accident victims will start soon by government. The government has plans of implementing the scheme across all national highways of the country and it will be begin firstly for the Delhi-Mumbai corridor.
According to senior officials, the NHAI would be inviting a request for proposal (RFP) under this scheme in a week.
“During the earlier pilot projects, the ministry learnt that the awareness about the scheme was generally low. So publicising the scheme will be a priority during its implementation on the Delhi-Mumbai corridor,” a senior official said.
The scheme would provide free treatment for the first 48 hours at hospitals located nearest to the accident site by bringing down the response time. It would be implemented by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and would cost around Rs 12 crore.
The scheme was earlier implemented as a pilot project on three national highway stretches, including Gurgaon-Jaipur and Mumbai-Vadodara stretches of NH-8 and Ranchi-Rargaon-Mahulia of NH 33 by the ministry of road, transport and highways, where victims did not have to pay for expenditure up to Rs 30,000. According to sources, around Rs 30 crore were disbursed under the scheme in the pilot projects.
This would include putting up posters about the scheme at regular intervals on the highway stretch and advertisements, sources said.
The scheme also has a provision of deploying GPS-fitted ambulances at every 25 km to shift accident victims to the nearest hospital at the earliest.
In the Gurgaon-Jaipur project, which was the first pilot project, the average response time of 20 minutes was pegged for the ambulance to reach the accident spot, and 20 minutes for the victim to be shifted to the nearest hospital.