During a press conference in New Delhi, Health Minister Satyendar Jain announced the introduction of a scheme that will cover all medical expenses of victims of road accidents, fire-related accidents and acid attacks. The scheme has already been approved by the Cabinet headed by CM Arvind Kejriwal and awaits final approval from Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The scheme has been launched with a noble aim of saving lives of such people during the ‘golden hour’ after a road accident, as per Mr Jain. There have been multiple incidents when private hospitals deny treatment because treatment costs are not available on the spot – which means missing out the crucial hour after accidents when victims can be saved. private hospitals deny treatment because treatment costs are not available on the spot – which means missing out the crucial hour after accidents when victims can be saved.
Known as the Accident Victim Scheme, the Delhi government will pay for the emergency treatment of road traffic accident, fire and acid-attack victims at private hospitals equipped to handle trauma cases. This will encourage private hospitals to treat all trauma emergencies and not refer accident victims who cannot pay to government hospitals. There are situations when victims are taken to government hospitals even if there is a private hospital nearby – because of lack of money – which jeopardises with the chances of survival, because it misses out the ‘golden hour’ time when chances of survival are the highest.
As per the scheme, a person need not be a resident of Delhi to avail the benefits of this scheme. If the accident has occurred in Delhi, that is, it falls under the jurisdiction of Delhi Police, the government will pay for treatment even if the victim belongs to another state, or even country. For this, the government has selected about 230 private hospitals in Delhi with over 20 beds and intensive care units equipped promptly to treat emergent cases. The government will foot the bill for emergency aid, surgeries and two-week hospital stay in economy or similar budget-category beds and wards.