TO ENSURE that medical assistance is provided within the ‘golden hour’ of a mishap, the Delhi government has proposed to pay for treatment of victims of road accidents, acid attacks and fire-related incidents at private hospitals across the city. The golden hour is the first hour after any traumatic injury, and doctors say that treatment is most likely to succeed during that period.
The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting chaired by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday. The proposal will now be sent to the Lieutenant Governor for approval.
According to Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Delhi sees around 8,000 accidents every year. A Delhi Traffic Police report maintains that there were close to 1,600 fatal accidents in the city in 2016.
“Most of the time, people who help accident victims rush them to the nearest government hospital and not the one that is closest to the accident spot. As a result, precious time within the golden hour is lost,” Jain said.
A government official said that there is no cap on the cost of treatment, and that it is also not limited to residents of Delhi. “Anyone who is in an accident in Delhi and needs immediate, life-saving medical intervention will be covered under this policy. Only the medico-legal case (MLC) needs to be registered in Delhi to avail the benefits,” Jain said. Tuesday’s decision is a continuation of the Good Samaritan Policy, which was passed by the cabinet in January this year. It was cleared by the L-G later.
Under the policy, people who help rush accident victims to hospital are given an incentive of Rs 2,000 and a certificate of appreciation.
The policy was brought in to encourage more people to come forward and help people without fear of harassment. The policy was first discussed after a road accident victim bled to death in Subhash Nagar in 2016. No one had come to the victim’s rescue.
All auto-rickshaw drivers were also given life-support training under the scheme.