"Jammu and Kashmir has been sanctioned 20 Auxillary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) and General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) Schools in the past three years, but I have to say this with regret that the progress on this has been very slow," Azad, a former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, said.
He was replying to a supplementary by Hassan Khan (Ind) during Question Hour on deaths of 358 children in two months in the state-run G B Pant Hospital in Srinagar.
Khan said an inquiry had revealed that the high rate of infant deaths was due to lack of nurses in the state government hospital.
"Centre extends facilities to the state governments, but it is up to them on how to benefit from it. What can one do if they choose not to benefit from it," Azad said.
"We have sanctioned ANM and GNM Nursing Schools and even sanctioned money. We (Centre) cannot build the schools, they have to be built by the state governments," he said.
The Minister admitted that there was shortage of ANM and GNM training schools in areas where there was shortage of such staff.
Azad said for the first time the Centre had sanctioned 269 ANM and GNM schools for under served areas.