New TN law proposes quick, quality care for accident victims

Express News Service

CHENNAI: To reduce the number of road-accident fatalities, the State government is set to enact the Emergency Medical Services Act (EMSA), which ensures essential medical care for accident victims. The Health Department is preparing a legislation to this effect as part of the proposal to set up a ‘Road Safety Authority’ (RSA), a nodal body to monitor the safety of roads.

The authority — comprising experts from the health, police, transport, highways and municipal administration department will aim to adopt innovative technological solutions to reduce the number of accidents based on statistics and scientific data. Two Bills, for setting up the RSA and EMSA, are likely to be passed in the Assembly in January next year.

The key components of EMSA are emergency response, rescue and resuscitation, damage control, early restoration of normal life, and rehabilitation, said a senior Health Department official. “Avoiding transportation delays and ensuring victims reach the hospital on time is the main objective of the act. As many as 300 Advanced Life Support Ambulances with specially-trained personnel will be deployed at black spots on highways,” the official added. 

Under the ‘Innuyir Kappom Thittam’ (precious life-saving scheme), 81 designated treatment modalities as damage-control measures, costing up to `1 lakh per individual, will be provided to road-accident victims. As many as 609 hospitals (including 182 government hospitals) along highways have been empanelled for this.

Not just natives of Tamil Nadu, but even tourists, visitors from other States, and foreign nationals will be eligible for cashless treatment for the first 48 hours. A total of `50 crore has been earmarked for this for the first year.

The RSA will have administrative and financial powers, and will draft plans to make road safety a people’s movement, involving students, public representatives, local bodies, and voluntary agencies. “Besides imparting lessons on road safety in schools and colleges, basic life support training will be given to volunteers and locals from villages where accident black spots have been identified,” said the official.

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