The Health Council provides scientific substantiation to the development of governmental policies. It compiles the latest scientific knowledge, both in response to requests and proactively, comparing 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 100 experts to respond to the requests for advice. Rather than convening in plenary sessions, the Council works on a case-by-case basis within temporary committees. In addition, there are permanent committees which are responsible for providing advice on recurring topics.

Committees consist of Council members with expertise in the relevant field, as well as external experts who are not Council members. Together, they aim to reach consensus on the interpretation and weighing of the current level of knowledge. Draft advisory reports are reviewed by the Standing Committee before being presented to the relevant minister.