Central government is planning to launch a new Road Accident Victims Cashless Treatment Scheme (RAVCTS) 2020. In this scheme, the govt. aims to provide access to emergency healthcare facilities required by the road accident victims. Union govt. will create a motor vehicle accident fund to pay for their medical care including during the golden hour. Ministry of Transport has proposed limit of Rs. 2.5 lakh for victims treatment per accident.
National Health Authority (NHA) is designated as the nodal agency to implement the RAVCTS under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. Now all the people who is injured from road accident can avail free treatment upto Rs. 2.5 lakh at any nearby govt. or private empanelled hospitals under Ayushman Bharat Scheme.
If proper and timely first aid is given in the Golden hour (1st hour after accident happen), then chances of survival improve. So to ensure people does not faces any blockage in getting treatment in the golden hour and afterwards, the central govt. will start RAVCT scheme.
Road Accident Victims Cashless Treatment Scheme 2020
After official launch of Road Accident Victims Cashless Treatment Scheme, central govt. will consider all road accident victims of Indian or foreign nationality as eligible for treatment scheme. In a letter addressed to state, Transport Ministry said “The central government shall make a scheme for the cashless treatment of victims of the accident during the golden hour and such scheme may contain provisions for creation of a fund for such treatment…the National Health Authority being the nodal agency for PMJAY having footfall all across the country with more than 21,000 hospitals on board has been entrusted to implement the scheme of cashless treatment of motor vehicle accident victims and also a nodal agency for PMJAY.” The Centre has sought feedback on the proposed scheme from all chief secretaries by 10 July 2020.
Need for RAVCTS Launch
In India, over 1.5 lakh people die every year due to road accidents as per Transport Ministry’s data. On an average, around 1,200 road accidents happen in India every day and around 400 people lose their lives on account of these accidents. For this purpose, Ministry of Transport has prepared a proposal which mentions that “It is envisioned to have a scheme by the central government for providing access to cashless trauma care treatment for road accident victims at the nearest appropriate hospital in the country, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, and by drawing its power from the Motor Vehicle(Amendment) Act 2019 (MV Amendment Act). Such cashless treatment shall be extended to road accident victims including during golden hour, as defined by the MV Amendment Act.”
Setting up of a Road Accident Fund
Setting up of a road accident fund was one of the key provisions of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Amentment Act passed by parliament in September 2019. NHA’s robust IT platforms which are used for Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY implementation may be utilized to provide cashless treatment for victims of road traffic accidents including during the golden hour. Hospitals have to ensure provision of stabilization in case they refer the patient to an empanelled PMJAY hospital where the complete treatment may be provided.
Trauma and healthcare services for road accident victim will be financed through an account. This account will be established and operated under the Ministry of Transport for the implementation of RAVCT scheme.
Fund for Insured / Uninsured Vehicles
For insured vehicles, road accident victims cashless treatment fund will have contributions from insurance companies through General Insurance Council (GIC). For Hit-and-Run cases, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) will pay for the accident of uninsured vehicles. National Health Authority (NHA) will manage the account to ensure timely payments to health care service providers. This release of payment would be done in accordance with the defined process and stipulated timelines. The vehicle owners will be liable to pay the cost of treatment as part of the compensation in case the vehicle is not insured.
Under MV Act 2019, cashless treatment of road accident victims is a path-breaking development towards saving lives of people. Once issued and implemented, it will ensure treatment of road crash victims without delay and also drastically reduce refusals faced by victims at certain hospitals.
As per the experts, this Road Accident Victims Cashless Treatment Scheme is a welcome step. However, govt. should also upgrades hospital infrastructure to reduce patient referrals and transfers to distant facilities.