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Maha CM, Start Scheme for Free Emergency Care for Accident Victims, like Delhi & Kerala!

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Maharashtra CM: Please Start Scheme for Free Emergency Treatment for Accident Victims, like Delhi and Kerala Governments

#SaveAccidentVictims #NoDelay #NoRefusal #NoCashDeposit

Every fourth person who meets road accident in Maharashtra had died in last six years. Maharashtra has become Mrityu Rashtra for accident victims! From 2011 to 2016, Maharashtra witnessed death of 78,317 persons in road accidents while 2, 47,402 were injured. Statistics tell us that Maharashtra is second state in India with highest numbers of road accidents and third in terms of accident deaths! Majority of the victims are in the age group of 18 to 45! Many times it is seen that private hospitals refuse to admit the accident victims as they feel they are poor. They are asked to pay hefty advance amount first. Valuable time is spent in collecting money or trying to locate a government hospital in the vicinity of the accident and the victim’s life hangs in a balance. If the victim doesn’t get hospital care within the Golden Hour, then chances of survival may go down with time.

An incidence happened in Subhash Nagar, Delhi where road accident victim bled to death because he was not given any medical assistance in the needed hour. In response, Delhi government unveiled the ‘Good Samaritan Policy’ in January 2017 to reward people helping road accident victims with reward money of Rs 2,000 as well as certificates of appreciation. Delhi Government came up with a more inclusive 'accident victim scheme' where the Delhi Government would cover of 100 percent costs on treatment of victims of road accidents, fire and acid attack,  in nearest hospital available without any conditionality of APL or BPL, first 48 hours etc. It includes all public and private hospitals. There will be no upper cap limit on expenses and any victim will get free treatment if mishap occurs within geographical jurisdiction of Delhi. It’s truly universal healthcare with no conditionality and no cash component at all.

Story of Murugan is quite representative of the road accident victim’s situation. After battling for his life for nearly seven hours, Murugan, a 30-year-old man from Kerala who was seriously injured in a road accident died in the ambulance after being denied treatment by five big private hospitals in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram cities. This incidence shocked the conscience of Kerala. Kerala Government filed FIR against those hospitals and launched a trauma care policy to provide free treatment to road accident victims in nearest hospital for the first 48 hours after admission, whether it’s public or private hospital.

Last year, a young man, Harish Nanjappa, died in a road accident on a highway outside Bengaluru. As he lay dying, without any treatment, he spoke of his wish to donate his organs. The Karnataka state government named a new ‘Mukhyamantri Santwana Harish Yojana (MSHS)’ to ensure treatment to accident victims after him. Under the scheme, accident victims will receive free care for the first 48 hours regardless of their ability to pay and their bill up to upto Rs. 25,000 will be covered by the Karnataka Government.

Many people in Maharashtra have been meeting the fate of Murugan and Harish! Death without timely treatment due to non-affordability of private hospitals or denial by hospitals due to non availability of money at that moment! But, the response like Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka Governments is missing in Maharashtra. If Delhi, Kerala and Karnataka Governments can provide free emergency care for accident victims then most developed state like Maharashtra can surely do it.

Maharashtra government has been providing 108 free ambulance service. But free ambulance service is of no use if nearby private hospital refuses to treat the accident victim because of his/her inability to pay at the moment! There should NOT be any more DELAY and REFUSAL to treat accident victims by any public or private hospitals. Evidence based, protocol driven free emergency care for accident victims MUST be one of the topmost priority for the Maharashtra Government.

Maharashtra is economic powerhouse of the nation with highest contribution to national GDP. A state Government with whooping Rs. 1.85 lakh Crore budget can surely afford another 300 to 400 Crore rupees for this scheme. After all, every life is very precious! It’s much needed scheme! A Road accident death is a serious public health problem and the Maharashtra Government has to take action NOW!

Sign my petition and ask the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to save lives of thousands of accident victims by launching scheme for free emergency care, in all hospitals- public and private, for accident victims which will provide evidence based, protocol driven care without any delay.

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