Revolutionizing Road Accident Care: MoRTH’s Cashless Treatment Initiative

In a groundbreaking move towards ensuring the well-being of road accident victims, the Union Ministry of Roads Transport & Highways (MoRTH) is set to roll out a comprehensive cashless medical treatment plan across India in the next 3-4 months. This ambitious initiative, announced by Anurag Jain, Secretary of MoRTH, is a crucial step towards addressing the alarming rate of road accident fatalities in the country, marking a paradigm shift in emergency medical care.

The Vision Behind Cashless Treatment

The initiative stems from the amended Motor Vehicle Act of 2019 (MVA2019), which empowers the government to provide free and cashless medical treatment to accident-injured victims. While some states have already implemented aspects of this, the MoRTH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is gearing up for a nationwide implementation. The aim is to grant access to cashless trauma care treatment for road accident victims at the nearest appropriate hospital, adhering to the Supreme Court ruling and leveraging the authority vested in the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019.

Anurag Jain emphasized the extension of cashless treatment to road accident victims, especially during the critical golden hour, as defined by the MV Amendment Act. This strategic move not only aligns with legal mandates but also reflects a compassionate approach to tackling the grim reality of road accident casualties.

Addressing India’s Road Safety Challenge

India currently holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of road accident deaths globally. In response to this crisis, the Road Ministry has formulated a comprehensive strategy based on the 5E’s of road safety: Education, Engineering, Enforcement, and Emergency Care. The overarching goal is to reduce road accidents by 50 percent by the year 2030.

Education as a Pillar of Road Safety

Education emerges as a crucial pillar in the government’s strategy. Implementing road safety education in schools and colleges is a proactive step towards instilling awareness and responsible behavior from an early age. This forward-thinking approach is poised to create a generation that values and practices safe road behavior.

Engineering for Safer Roads

Recognizing the importance of road design in ensuring safety, road safety has become an integral part of the planning stage. The electronic Detailed Accident Report (e-DAR) Project further exemplifies the commitment to rectifying engineering faults promptly. This project aims to establish a central repository for reporting, managing, and analyzing road accident data nationwide, addressing engineering deficiencies within a short timeframe.

Enforcement: Real-Time Key to Safety

Enforcement of motor vehicle laws is identified as a real-time key to ensuring compliance. Measures such as ABS brakes, two-wheeler over-speed warning systems, seat belt reminders, and the introduction of Bharat NCAP highlight the government’s commitment to stringent enforcement. These steps collectively contribute to fostering a culture of responsible driving and adherence to traffic laws.

Global Collaboration for Safer Roads

The recent 3-day Global Road Safety Initiative, organized by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) in collaboration with MoRTH, UNESCAP, and UNECE, underscores India’s commitment to global collaboration in addressing road safety challenges. More than 130 eminent road safety experts from over 27 countries participated in discussions aimed at formulating codes to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries in low and middle-income countries.

Eminent participants, including Dr. Luciano Lorio, Chairperson of UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), and David Ward, Executive President of Global NCAP, brought valuable insights to the table. The event served as a platform for sharing best practices and developing a collective vision for road safety.

Looking Ahead: A Safer Roadmap

As India gears up for the comprehensive implementation of cashless medical treatment for road accident victims and integrates road safety into educational curricula, the trajectory towards safer roads becomes clearer. The multi-pronged strategy, rooted in education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency care, lays the foundation for a safer, more responsible road culture.

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