The Act sets down four statutory obligations for the NHMRC:
- To raise the standard of individual and public health throughout Australia.
- To foster the development of consistent health standards between the States and Territories.
- To foster medical research and training and public health research and training throughout Australia.
- To foster consideration of ethical issues relating to health.
Each Council is appointed for a three-year term, requiring the drafting of a Strategic Plan to guide its work for the triennium.
A major focus of this Strategic Plan is the stronger integration of our major activities: research, advice, ethics and regulation to produce better health outcomes for Australians. Corporate governance will be improved to support this integration of activities.
The NHMRC reports on its activities annually to the Minister for Health and Aged Care and, towards the end of every triennium, provides the Minister with a major review of implementation of its Strategic Plan.