THE UDDHAV Thackeray-led state government Wednesday launched a new road accident insurance scheme named after late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray, to provide timely treatment to victims that could help to reduce the fatality rate.
Under the Balasaheb Thackeray Accidental Insurance Scheme, an accident victim will be provided treatment in nearby hospitals in the first 72 hours of the incident, a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office said. Treatment up to Rs 30,000 will be provided free of charge from about 74 treatment procedures, including treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) and ward, fractures as well as meals in the hospital, it said.
An accident victim of any state or the country can avail the benefits of the scheme if he or she meets with a road accident within Maharashtra, the statement added.
On an average 40,000 people are injured and 13,000 people die in accidents on the state highways and rural roads every year across Maharashtra. Many victims, the CMO statement said, can be saved if they get timely treatment during the ‘golden hour’ — the period of time following a traumatic injury during which there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death.
Interestingly, the scheme was proposed by the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government and then the state Cabinet had given approval for it in 2016. But it had not moved further due to multiple issues, including funds and the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana launched by Centre, sources said.
The scheme, officials said, is expected to cost around Rs 120 crore, which will be given by the Health Department to the State Health Assurance Society, a government body that will implement the scheme. However, the insurance scheme will not cover accidents, such as industrial or railway accidents or mishaps at daily work or home. A dedicated toll-free number will be launched to register complaints regarding the scheme.