The Ministry of Health has proposed to provide free treatment to people injured in accidents across the country. The next Cabinet meeting is likely to discuss the proposal.
The ministry is also planning to provide emergency ambulance services for accident victims.
“We have realised that medical practitioners cannot reach the spot immediately after accident to provide medical care to the victims. Those injured in accidents are dying due to lack of immediate health care. To save lives we have planned pre-hospital care for people injured in accidents,” said Dr Bholaram Shrestha, chief of the Curative Service Division at the Ministry of Health.
For that a mobile rescue team will be provided with ambulance which will be equipped with necessary tools and equipment necessary for immediate treatment of patients before they are taken to hospitals for further treatment, he said.
“If the proposal is passed in the Cabinet, people injured in accidents can receive immediate treatment on the spot. They would then be provided free treatment in hospitals,” Dr Shrestha added.
The cost for the treatment will be managed from Health Security Fund.
“One paisa additional charge will be levied on petroleum products and the money collected will be deposited in the fund. If anyone gets injured in an accident, s/he will be provided money for treatment from the same fund,” said Dr Shrestha, adding, “If the proposal in passed in the Cabinet, we hope we can significantly reduce road traffic deaths.”
However, speed control mechanisms, traffic light management, proper distribution of licences and post crash security should be properly managed to reduce road accidents, suggested Dr Shrestha. Poor condition of roads is also one of the major causes of increasing road accidents in the country.
According to Nepal Police, a total of 8,406 road accidents took place in the fiscal 2013/14, 9,146 accidents in 2014/15 and 10,013 accidents have been reported in the year 2015/16. Likewise, the number of road traffic deaths stood at 5,797 in the three fiscals. Kathmandu Valley records the highest number of road accidents.
The government has been providing financial assistance for poverty-stricken citizens suffering from life-threatening diseases through Poverty Stricken Citizens Fund which was established after the second people’s movement.
Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, renal failure, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, head and spinal injury, sickle cell anaemia and stroke are covered under this programme.
A version of this article appears in print on December 17, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.