The Union Government has taken cognizance of this matter and it stands committed to reducing road accidents by 50% by 2020. The Ministry has taken a number of steps to prevent such road accidents, including the approval of a national road safety policy which outlines various measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information database and encouraging safer road infrastructure among others.
The Supreme Court of India had made an observation in 2016 by stating that, “For a nation on the cusp of economic development, India can well avoid the tag of being the accident capital of the world.”
Over the years, the Medica Group of Hospitals has left an indelible mark on society by supporting the Kolkata Police and Jharkhand Police departments through a unique PPP model that has saved the lives of accident and trauma victims. KARMA, an eye-opener for other states as a unique PPP model among Kolkata Police, Medica Superspecialty Hospital and Eastern India Healthcare Foundation, helps the RTA victims to be transported to the nearby hospitals for the past six years.
For giving proper attention to the road traffic accident (RTA) victims, the Kolkata Police invited all the leading hospitals in Kolkata to extend their services. Medica Superspecialty Hospital was the only hospital that responded to the invitation. With the strategic collaboration among Kolkata Police (K/P), Medica Superspecialty Hospital and Eastern India Healthcare Foundation (EIHF), KARMA - Kolkata Accident Response & Medical Assistance was formed on March 6, 2012.
Mitesh Jain, Joint Commissioner, Kolkata Traffic Police said, “Till date, 22,899 people have been provided emergency medical assistance by KARMA and 18,927 RTA victims have been transported safely to the nearest hospital. A 24x7 totally free of cost service is provided to the road traffic accident victims of Kolkata. Besides, we also help any other ailing person across the city to reach the nearby medical centres in their need, free of cost, as a part of our community policing”.
Manjula Singh, CSR Head, Medica Group of Hospitals stated, “KARMA provides instant help to the RTA victims and transports them to the nearest hospital so that no time is lost in getting them adequate medical aid. Before KARMA, no other organised service was there to facilitate emergency services to the road traffic accident victims in Kolkata. Since its inception, only six RTA victims have been brought to Medica Hospital, which reflects Medica’s commitment to the community.”
KARMA operations are supported by the Kolkata Police Traffic Control Room & the Motor Transport Section and are managed round the clock by a Command Centre located within Medica Superspecialty Hospital with a fleet of 18 ambulances along with trained paramedics. They attend the victims with two emergency medical technicians, a driver, and the ambulances which are fully equipped with all basic life support medical equipments.
Dr. Alok Roy, Chairman Medica Group of Hospitals, also said, “State Governments, Police departments and other stakeholders must come together to address this issue. During the golden hour, transporting the accident victims to a nearby hospital helps in saving many lives. We are definitely proud to be associated with the Kolkata Police’s initiative, KARMA. This remains an important step and definitely caters to the greater interest of the city and humanity.”
Lastly, Mitesh Jain concluded, “After the launch of ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ campaign by the Chief Minister of West Bengal on July 8, 2016, the Kolkata Police has been continuously campaigning the same to make aware all the road users regarding road safety measures by giving special emphasis to four basic “E’s” of road safety. Out of the four “E’s” the last one i.e. “Emergency Response” is being successfully provided to the road accident victims by KARMA. The severe injuries, post road accidents, which could have been turned into fatalities, have been avoided substantially due to the quick response to the RTA victims.
Let us join hands and further the movement of ‘Safe Drive Save Life’ to make the city safer”.
With the strategic collaboration among Jharkhand Police, Tata Steel and Medica Group of Hospitals, Jamshedpur Accident Response & Medical Assistance (JARMA) in Jamshedpur and Accident Res-ponse & Medical Assistance (ARMAR) in Ranchi, were formed. No doubt, a similar focussed and organised approach can also be adopted by other states for effective trauma care. It can also effectively minimise the number of deaths due to fatal accidents.