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Maharashtra government to introduce road accident insurance scheme

The Maharashtra government is going to introduce health insurance schemes on the lines of those in Karnataka and Delhi for emergency cases such as road accidents or heart attacks to save lives in the critical golden hour.

The state government will cover treatment cost up to Rs 30,000 for 24 hours from the time of the accident at private or government hospitals. The proposal is under consideration and awaiting the chief minister’s nod, officials from the public health department said.

The name of the scheme has not been decided yet. It was earlier planned to name it after Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

The scheme will be similar to the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Jan Arogya Yojana, earlier called the Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayee Arogya Yojana, where empanelled hospitals treat patients and recover the cost from insurance providers sanctioned by the state government.

In this scheme, however, the mandatory clause of submitting identification proof at the time of hospitalisation has been dropped to ensure emergency cases do not suffer. Residents from outside Maharashtra will also be covered and emergency ambulance service (108) will be roped in to transport patients to the nearest registered hospital.

“Once the patient is stabilised after 24 hours, he will be given an option to continue treatment in a private hospital at his own cost or be moved to government hospital for free treatment,” said Dr Satish Pawar, Director of Health Services.

A budget of Rs 200 crore has been estimated to cover the first financial year of the scheme.

On Tuesday, health activists started an online campaign to request CM Devendra Fadnavis for free emergency medical support to accident victims. “… in several cases, private hospitals refuse admission to accident victims if they belong to poorer sections… The concept of golden hour is lost if the closest hospital denies treatment,” said Dr Abhijeet More of the Jan Arogya Abhiyaan.

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