The government plans to introduce a cashless treatment program for victims of road accidents with a limit of Rs 250,000 per case.

The program is growing in importance as India records about 500,000 road accidents annually, one of the highest in the world, killing about 150,000 people and crippling about 300,000.

For the cashless system for traffic accident victims, the Ministry of Road Traffic and Highways (MoRTH) will set up a vehicle accident fund, as announced on Tuesday in a message to the traffic secretaries and commissioners of the states.

The robust IT platforms of the NHA (National Health Authority) used for the implementation of AB-PM JAY (Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) can be used to provide cashless treatment to traffic accident victims, including the golden hour (first hour of the accident)), it said in the message.

“All traffic accident victims with Indian or foreign nationality will be eligible as beneficiaries of the system. The system has a limit of Rs 250,000 / person / accident,” the statement said.

Trauma and health services for victims of traffic accidents are funded through an account set up under the MoRTH for the implementation of the system.

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“The funds will receive contributions from insurance companies through the general insurance council for secured vehicles and for hit and run cases,” it said, adding that the ministry will pay for accidents for uninsured vehicles.

In addition, vehicle owners are required to pay the treatment costs as part of the compensation for uninsured vehicles.

32 out of 36 states / union territories implement PMJAY and the program benefits approximately 130 million families.

As part of the program, according to the communication, victims will have access to cashless trauma treatment at the nearest suitable hospital in the country.

“Hospitals need to stabilize if they refer the patient to a staffed PMJAY hospital where full treatment can be given,” it said.

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