The Kerala government has decided to institute a trauma care policy to provide road accident victims free treatment for the first 48 hours after admission.
The announcement comes on the heels of the deaths of a few road accident victims who were denied treatment by both government and private hospitals. According to The News Minute, the official statement read,
"The government will give away the amount for emergency treatment within the initial 48 hours. The plan is to collect the amount from insurance companies concerned."
According to a report, 1,50,785 people died in road accidents last year, which translates to 17 deaths every hour. The number of deaths has increased despite a significant decrease in the number of road accidents.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan plans on meeting with insurance companies to finalise a comprehensive trauma care policy that will include private hospitals, who will make use of the Road Safety Fund to meet initial expenses.
Additionally, special ambulances with advanced facilities will ensure that accident victims reach hospitals sooner than usual.
Though Kerala deserves applause for this move, it is not the first state to come up with a free treatment policy for accident victims. In fact, Kerala's policy covers only road accident victims, whereas Delhi came up with a more inclusive 'accident victim scheme' a few months ago.
Delhi's Health Minister Satyendra Jain had made the announcement about the scheme, which includes victims of fire accidents and acid attacks along with road accident victims. According to The Asian Age, while talking about the decision, Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal had said,
“We will ensure that people, irrespective of their economic status, are provided with the best health and education facilities and this is a step in that direction.”
Much before Kerala and Delhi, last year Karnataka earmarked Rs 80 crore to ensure accident victims get free treatment. Named after Harish Nanjappa, the man who died in a road accident after donating his organs, the scheme includes both Indians and foreigners.