Cashless scheme has saved 3,000 lives
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.
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.