Bernard Merkel became Head of the Food Safety, Health and Consumer Affairs section of the Delegation in October 2009. His previous post was Head of the Health Strategy and Health Systems Unit in the Health and Consumers Directorate General of the European Commission. During his years in the Commission he was responsible for the EU’s first overall health strategy, “Together for Health“, which was published in 2007. He also developed the EU public health programmes, and several EU healthcare initiatives, including the Directive on Cross-border Healthcare, actions on patient safety, healthcare quality, pharmaceuticals, health technology assessment, the health workforce, and health investment. Prior to joining the Commission he was an Assistant Secretary in the UK Department of Health and Social Security. In the UK he worked on issues such as AIDS, reforming the workforce and management structure of the NHS, as well as the social security programmes on poverty and disability. In addition, he spent 18 months as Private Secretary to the Health and Social Security Secretary.
Bernard has a BA in history and politics (Exeter University), an MA(Econ) in government (Manchester University) and a PhD in political philosophy (Reading University). He has been a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene. He is on the Editorial Board of Eurohealth, and author of a number of articles on health policy. He has also published other articles on food and wine. He is married to Doreen Merkel and they have two daughters, Natasha and Ingrid.