Victims of road accidents, fire incidents and acid attacks in Delhi will now get free treatment at private hospitals, the state government said on Tuesday. The new scheme, approved by the Cabinet, plans to save lives during the “golden hour” after an accident, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

“Most of the time, people who help accident victims rush them to the nearest government hospital and not the one that is closest to the accident spot,” Jain said. “As a result, precious time within the golden hour is lost.”

In the medical parlance, the golden hour refers to a time period lasting for one hour following a traumatic injury. The scheme will now be sent to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal for approval.

The scheme will apply to non-residents of Delhi as well, and there will be no upper cap on the expenses that the government will bear. To avail the benefit, the related medico-legal case needs to be filed in Delhi, Jain said. “The Delhi government will bear the treatment cost of such people in both its own and private hospitals,” Jain said.

Jain claimed that 8,000 road accidents take place in Delhi every year, affecting 15,000-20,000 people. He said about 1,600 people die annually in road accidents.