Road Ministry sets up process to enable cashless treatment for accident victims

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 01, 2020 Published on July 01, 2020

Insurers asked to make timely payment for cashless treatment

Anybody who meets with a road accident in India will have now access to cashless trauma and healthcare services, with the Road Ministry taking a step ahead to implement such a scheme. The proposed scheme will cover treatment of all accident victims irrespective of their citizenship and economic strata.

Overall, the treatment will be funded by the Road Ministry, along with contributions from insurance companies through the General Insurance Council, State governments, among others.

Specifically, expenditure for victims hit by uninsured vehicles will be borne by the Road Ministry. The vehicle owner may be penalised to pay for the treatment and money may be claimed from vehicle owners to replenish the fund, according to a Road Ministry report on cashless treatment scheme.

Accident fund

The insurance companies have to bear the cost of treatment of those who are hit by vehicles that are insured, as well those who are hit and run (where the details of vehicle owner are not known). The General Insurance Council will supervise the fund, into which each insurance company will pool in money. How the firms will contribute will be decided by the Road Ministry.

The budget estimate proposal for the scheme takes into account the possibility that not all road accident related data are officially recorded, and provides for an extra amount of 20 per cent.

This scheme — of providing cashless accident scheme — was envisaged as part of the Motor Vehicles Amendment passed in Parliament in 2019 to improve road safety in India, which officially records 1.45 lakh deaths a year due to accidents.

As per the initial contours, the National Health Agency (NHA) has been entrusted to implement the scheme. The NHA will ensure timely payments to healthcare service providers within the set timelines, and the Road Ministry will ensure that the pool of funds does not deplete below 25 per cent. Also, insurance companies have to make payments into this pool of funds once every three months.

The Road Ministry has written to various State governments asking them for feedback on the detailed proposal to implement the scheme. States have the choice of implementing the scheme, and there will be regular review of how the scheme is progressing along with multiple players.

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Published on July 01, 2020
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