Aurélien Rousseau: who is the new Minister of Health?


Aurélien Rousseau: who is the new Minister of Health?

GOVERNMENT. Aurélien Rousseau officially became Minister of Health after the transfer of power this Friday, July 21, 2023 with François Braun.

[Updated July 21, 2023 at 10:40 a.m.] The cabinet reshuffle of July 20, 2023 held many surprises, including the unexpected appointment of Aurélien Rousseau as Minister of Health. He succeeds François Braun. This took the political world by surprise, because Aurélien Rousseau was expected as deputy director general of the Caisse des dépôts, in charge of social policies. However, it is important to note that the former shadow man of the Prime Minister is not a novice in the field of health, as he has already led the Regional Health Agency of the Île-de-France region during the Covid-19 crisis. This experience could be a major asset for his new ministerial function.

“It is not a ministry where crises follow one another just from the health point of view, it is also a ministry which pilots and which must provide answers to a whole world which claims, with accuracy, meaning”, declared Aurélien Rousseau during his first speech as new Minister of Health. The former chief of staff of Elisabeth Borne officially took office after the cabinet reshuffle of July 20, 2023. His predecessor, François Braun, defended his record at length while defending his membership in civil society which is "not a shameful disease" according to this former emergency doctor.

“An imminent threat hangs over the future of public hospitals with the appointment of Aurélien Rousseau as Minister of Health,” said Christophe Prudhomme, emergency physician and spokesperson for the Association of Emergency Physicians of France ( AMUF), on franceinfo. This appointment raises serious concerns among health professionals, who denounce Mr. Rousseau's lack of commitment to the public sector during his term at the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency. According to the emergency doctor, the consequences of this appointment could result in an acceleration of the deterioration of the public hospital. On the side of Jérôme Marty, it's a completely different story. Aurélien Rousseau, the new Minister of Health "is someone brave, imaginative", assured the president of the French Union for Free Medicine, interviewed by franceinfo. According to the doctor, he "managed the Covid-19 crisis rather well" when he headed the Île-de-France Regional Health Agency. However, according to Jérôme Marty, the new minister must have "freedom to act" in order to "free himself from Elysian tutelage".

This 47-year-old man was born in Alès on June 25, 1976. His mother is a philosophy teacher known for her Marxist thought. She was the leader of the United Socialist Party. Her grandmother, Jeanne Boyer, was an elected communist from Alès for 38 years. Aurélien Rousseau was therefore bathed from his childhood in a very political framework.

He pursued a career as a history-geography teacher in Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis) for two years before being recruited by Pierre Mansat as mayor of Paris. He then joined the ENA on the advice of Nicolas Revol, his predecessor at Matignon, but his health stopped him. He has Guillan-Barré syndrome, a neurological disease that paralyzes him. He then lived for several months at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. This experience inspired him to write the autobiographical book, Boucle d'or, published in 2016 by Editions du Passage.

His long convalescence did not prevent him from passing the ENA, promotion Willy-Brandt (2007-2009). He began his career as a senior civil servant at the Council of State before leaving it in 2012 to return to the town hall of Paris with Bertrand Delanoë as deputy director of his cabinet and then as deputy secretary general.

Manuel Valls, then Prime Minister, recruited him in October 2015 as deputy chief of staff. He was in charge of the Labor law which brought the government of the time an intense period of social protest. He remained in his post when Bernard Cazeneuve took over as head of Matignon in 2016. Aurélien Rousseau returned to the helm of the Paris Mint in March 2017 for a year. A year later, he was appointed head of the Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency. He managed the covid-19 health crisis on the front line since this region is the most affected by this pandemic in France. A painful episode since he left his post in July 2021 after suffering from depression.

Professor of history and geography by training, Aurélien Rousseau settles in this delicate environment where the Ministry of Health is in crisis. Some of his future interlocutors will be familiar to him, in particular his wife, Marguerite Cazeneuve, who holds the position of number two in health insurance. In addition, his predecessor at Matignon, Nicolas Ravel, is now director general of the APHP (Assistance publique-hôpitaux de Paris). Questioned during the Télématin program, the government spokesperson, Olivier Véran, was subjected to questions concerning a potential conflict of interest involving the new Minister of Health because of his wife's position. Here is his position: "I do not consider sharing your life with someone who has the same passion as you to be a problem or a controversy. This question is about maintaining office. We have an authority for the transparency of life public who will have to decide".