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Wednesday , 21 February 2024

Cashless treatment proposed for highway accident victims

The first hour after a life threatening accident is crucial for survival of accident victims. It is necessary to get the victims admitted to a hospital and get them treated upon within this time, called ‘the golden hour’. But in India, many people die as they do not get the essential treatment during this time owing to non-availability of money to pay hospital bills. Many accident victims do not take advantage of the ambulances on highways because of the cost involved. To address the issue, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has proposed offering cashless treatment for people who meet with accidents on national four-lane highways.

It is conducting negotiations with insurance companies regarding the insurance premium payable and other details so that accident victims do not have to pay immediately at the hospitals. If the proposal is approved by the central government, the accident victims will be able to get treatment at 140 hospitals across the country. The highways which will be covered include four four-lane national highways, the Golden Quadrilateral (connecting Mumbai-Delhi-Kolkata-Chennai), the north south corridor (Srinagar to Kanyakumari) and the East West (Silchar to Porbandar) corridor. The total length of the highways proposed to be covered is about 40,000kms. The NHAI feels it is its social responsibility to ensure a safe journey for road users in addition to building roads and infrastructure. To raise the funds required to cover the insurance premium, the agency has proposed to levy a र1 cess on the highway toll.

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