The Health Council provides scientific substantiation for the ministries’ development of their policies. The Council charts – both solicited and unsolicited – the latest scientific knowledge. It compares the different options for efficiently improving public health. This is a complex task, because researchers often produce divergent results, and data is not always easy to interpret.

To do justice to this complexity, the Council has recruited some 130 experts to respond to the requests for advice. The Health Council does not meet on a plenary basis, but rather works on a case-by-case basis within ad hoc committees. In addition, there are permanent committees  which are responsible for providing advice on frequently returning topics.

The committees are made up of Council members who are specialists in the relevant field and of experts who are not members of the Health Council. Together, these experts aim to reach consensus on the interpretation and weighing of the current level of knowledge. Draft advisory reports are reviewed by one or both Standing Committees before being presented to the relevant minister.