Pilot for Cashless Treatment of Road Accident Victims

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has announced the launch of a pilot project to provide cashless treatment to victims of road crashes.

The programme, which will be initially implemented in Chandigarh, is designed to ensure that accident victims receive prompt medical care, especially during the critical ‘golden hour’ after the incident.

Under the scheme, all road accident victims in the Union Territory will be entitled to cashless treatment worth up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per person for a maximum period of seven days from the date of the accident. The programme will cover accidents involving motor vehicles on any category of road.

Timely Care During ‘Golden Hour’ Crucial

Announcing the pilot project, the Ministry said in a press statement that the initiative aims to establish an “ecosystem for providing timely medical care to the victims of road accidents, including during the golden hour.” The golden hour refers to the one-hour period immediately following a traumatic injury, during which there is the highest likelihood of preventing death by providing urgent medical attention.

Studies have consistently shown that a significant proportion of road accident deaths can be avoided if victims receive proper medical care within the first hour of the crash. In 2022, India recorded an all-time high of 1.68 lakh road fatalities, underlining the critical need for interventions to improve emergency response and trauma care.

Ayushman Bharat Packages to be Included

To ensure comprehensive coverage, the pilot programme will also incorporate the packages for trauma and polytrauma cases offered under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the government’s flagship health insurance scheme better known as Ayushman Bharat. This integration will allow accident victims to avail of a wide range of medical services without having to bear the costs.

The National Health Authority (NHA), the apex body responsible for implementing PM-JAY, will be the nodal agency for the road accident pilot project as well. The NHA will work in close coordination with the Chandigarh Police, hospitals in the city, and the State Health Agency to operationalize the scheme.

Claims to be Settled from Motor Vehicle Accident Fund

The expenses incurred in providing cashless treatment to road accident victims under the pilot will be met from the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, which was constituted under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. Hospitals providing treatment to victims will raise claims which will be reimbursed from this dedicated fund.

The Act had introduced several key provisions to improve road safety and emergency care, including the creation of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and a framework for providing cashless treatment to accident victims. However, the implementation of these measures had been pending so far.

Integrated IT Platform for Seamless Implementation

To ensure the smooth rollout and operation of the pilot project, an integrated IT platform is being developed that will combine the functionalities of the Road Transport Ministry’s e-DAR (Detailed Accident Report) application and the NHA’s Transaction Management System.

 


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