Cash­less scheme has saved 3,000 lives

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Sid­hartha.Roy @times­group.com

New Delhi: On a cold Novem­ber morn­ing last year, Man­golpuri res­i­dent Em­manuel James was at work when he re­ceived the news that his four-year-old daugh­ter, Anna, has met with a road ac­ci­dent. The half-an-hour it took James to reach the hos­pi­tal seemed like eter­nity with an omi­nous feel­ing that she wouldn’t sur­vive.

James now shud­ders to think that had it not been for the Delhi gov­ern­ment’s scheme that pro­vide pa­tients of road ac­ci­dents, acid at­tacks and burn in­juries free treat­ment at all hos­pi­tals, in­clud­ing pri­vate ones, his daugh­ter may not have made it that day.

James, who is a driver in a pri­vate firm, was at work when he re­ceived the call. “My elder daugh­ter and son were in school and my wife had to take her fa­ther to the doc­tor. Usu­ally, we don’t leave her alone. I don’t know what hap­pened that day and how she got out of the house,” said James. “We later got to know from a hawker that Anna sud­denly came out on the road and was hit by a speed­ing car.”

With Anna se­verely in­jured and bleed­ing pro­fusely, neigh­bours took her to a well­known pri­vate hos­pi­tal in nearby Pun­jabi Bagh. By the time James reached the hos­pi­tal, Anna was in the ICU and on life support. Shaken by the sight of his child in this con­di­tion, James had other an­other worry: How would he pay for the treat­ment? He earns Rs 13,000 a month and sup­ports a family of five.

“It is then that some­one in the hos­pi­tal told us about Delhi gov­ern­ment’s scheme,” James re­called. He didn’t get any bill from the hos­pi­tal. “Though I don’t know what the ex­act amount was, it must have been be­tween Rs 7 lakh and Rs 8 lakh since some of the in­jec­tions cost Rs 30,000 each,” he said.

Anna has now been en­rolled in a school and is lead­ing a nor­mal life like other chil­dren of her age.

Ac­cord­ing to Delhi vern­ment of­fi­cials, lives goof more 3,000 ac­ci­dent, acid at­tack and burn in­jury vic­tims have been saved since Fe­bru­ary 1, 2018, when the gov­ern­ment launched the scheme to pro­vide cash­less treat­ment. Un­der the scheme, it is manda­tory for pri­vate hos­pi­tals to pro­vide cash­less treat­ment to medico-le­gal vic­tims of road ac­ci­dents, acid at­tack and burn in­juries. Pri­vate hos­pi­tals and nurs­ing homes have also been di­rected to put up per­ma­nent boards in­form­ing peo­ple about the scheme.

Kr­ishen Ku­mar, a Na­jaf­garh res­i­dent, says he is alive to­day be­cause of the scheme. “On Au­gust 19, I was re­turn­ing home in the evening and stand­ing on a foot­path when a speed­ing car sud­denly veered too close and hit me so hard that I fell a huge dis­tance away and lost con­scious­ness. When I re­gained my senses, I was in a nurs­ing home where a fel­low shop-owner had brought me,” said Ku­mar.

Ku­mar’s family

lives in Ra­jasthan and the Rs 300-400 he earns daily is just about enough to sus­tain him. “I had se­vere head in­juries, apart from stitches all over my body. I was in the ICU for three days,” he said. “There was no way I could af­ford treat­ment in a pri­vate nurs­ing home but a neigh­bour of mine was aware about Delhi gov­ern­ment’s cash­less treat­ment scheme for ac­ci­dent vic­tims. I don’t how much my treat­ment cost be­cause I never saw the bills,” he said.

Suren­dar Bansal, an­other ben­e­fi­ciary, had gone out in the morn­ing to feed pi­geons when he met with a road ac­ci­dent and rushed to a hos­pi­tal. “The doc­tors de­clared Suren­dar's con­di­tion crit­i­cal due to bleed­ing. The family ini­tially de­posited Rs 10,000 for ad­mis­sion and then availed the scheme,” said a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment now wants to cre­ate more aware­ness about this fa­cil­ity so that more peo­ple can ben­e­fit.

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