The Government of India was committed to providing accessible, affordable and accountable health care to the people, the minister said.
The National Rural Health Mission was the flagship programme of the government, and would look to improving delivery of health care services.
The programme had helped add 7 lakh community health workers, 70,000 nurses and auxiliary nurse midwives and over 15,000 MBBS doctors to the health system, he said, and the effort had resulted in decrease in maternal mortality to 254 per thousand from 301 per thousand.
Countries like Sri Lanka had shown how nursing and midwifery skills alone could bring major reduction in maternal mortality, and India was learning from the experience, Azad said.
He lauded the contribution of midwives who worked in remote areas and provided ante and post natal care in difficult circumstances.