The WGHS works closely with organizations such as the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being (NDPHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Members of the WGHS are Norway, Sweden and Finland. Both the central government level and the Barents regions in all countries are represented, as well as the Working Group of Indigenous Peoples. The European Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being take part in the work when needed.
The Working Group on Health and related Social issues provides a political structure for health and social cooperation, in which representatives of the national and regional health authorities of the Barents countries meet twice a year to discuss relevant issues.
Finland holds the chairmanship of the WGHS for the period 2022-2023.
The first Barents Health Ministers' Meeting took place in Oslo 12 November 2019.
Barents Framework Collaboration Programme on Health and Related Social issues 2024-2027
The WGHS prepares its own health and social programme for four years at a time. The current programme covers the period 2024-2027. The main priority areas of the programme are:
- Programme on Children and Youth at Risk (CYAR)
- Programme on Developing Preparedness through Building Health Competences and Impementation of New Technologies and Modern Methods for Health Care (PNT)
- Programme on Developing New Approaches for Prevention and Health Promotion in Collaboration Acroiss Borders (PHP)