Report No. 201
The Indian Emergency Journal (Aug., 2005) in its Editorial says:
"The fact is that 80,000 people are killed in accidents every year. At least 30 to 45 minutes elapse between the time of a crash and arrival at hospital. 12 percent of institutions in the trauma-care-sector have no access to ambulance. Only 50 per cent of the available ambulance services possess the acute-care facilities needed to keep an accident victim alive during transportation. And only 4 per cent of personal staffing these services (have certified formal training).
National Toll Free Number 108 and Ambulances & Identifying Hospitals: (Hindu dated 4th July 2006, p.12)
"Ambulances with state of art equipment would, it is stated, be deployed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for every 50 km on completed stretches of highways entrusted to them.
A national toll-free telephone number 108, will be earmarked (it has already been done in Andhra Pradesh) to which information on accidents can be passed on, immediately by passengers or passersby. This was decided at a meeting to draw a road map to develop an integrated and comprehensive system of trauma care by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Department of Economic Affairs of the Union Finance Ministry and the Department of Road Transport and Highways will jointly devise an insurance-funded payment for the treatment of victims of hit and run accidents.
Under the scheme, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry will identify distinct Government Hospitals near the National Highways, for a time-bound upgradation of trauma care facilities. They would also standardize the configuration of ambulances with the latest equipment and draw up qualification for the staff to be deployed on them. This is to ensure that staff would be able to stabilize the condition of victims prior to hospitalization.
The meeting was attended by senior officers of the Department of Road Transport and Highways, National Highways Authority of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Economic Affairs, (Insurance Division) and Ministry of Telecommunication.
The other decisions include gradual extension of deployment of ambulances to national highways under construction, provision of ambulances to States, NGOs."
Tamil Nadu State : Road Safety Council, Road Safety Fund & Identification of hospitals on Highways
In Tamil Nadu, Government has established under section 215 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and appointed a Road Safety Commissioner who has various duties including accident relief.
A Road Safety Fund has been created during the year 2000 to fund Road Safety Activation. Allocations will be made to the fund from compounding fees and spot fines collected by Transport and Police Departments. The fund will be administered by a committee chaired by the Home Secretary.
The Highway Patrol force is proposed to be re-organised by integrating it with traffic accident posts and linking with Emergency Accident Relief Centres (EARC). 80 stretches have been identified for Highway Patrol with 160 teams by the Police Department and a concurrent team to co-ordinate with the Highway Patrol Team.
The Tamil Nadu Government has identified Emergency Relief Centres (ARCs) on mega highways in Tamil Nadu and has proposed such centres for every 50 Kms on the National Highways in the State. These Centres can be contacted by dialing the toll free number 1033 from any landline phone near accident spot. A fully equipped ambulance with a trained paramedic is always on standby to respond to such calls. Victims are transported to the nearest hospitals free of charge.
A large number of hospitals, about 75 have been identified
(see http://www.tn.gov.in/sta/roads.htm) and 7 more are proposed.
The Basic feature of the scheme is to establish 100 emergency ARCs on National Highways/State highways throughout Tamil Nadu. These centers are operated by leading hospitals in the area. It is an example of public-private partnership model. The starting infrastructure like cubicle, ambulance, etc., is provided by the sponsoring agency/hospital. The local Regional Transport offices help in getting telephone and water/Electricity connections. Some Centres are fully sponsored where the full maintenance cost including salary, fuel, medicine etc. are borne by the sponsoring hospitals.
Some Centres are sponsored where the staff is provided by the hospitals and maintenance expenditure is given by the State Government. To establish any new Centre, preference is given to full sponsorship. In case there is no sponsor ready to take the full expenditure, Government will provide the maintenance expenditure. As on 27.1.2004, there are 75 Centres functioning and 25 more Centres are proposed. It is stated that as on 1.9.2004, 16,326 lives have been saved.