Healthcare in France

Are you going on vacation to France? Do you want to know about how the medical healthcare system in France works? We’ve got useful facts & information about France’s healthcare system here.

France has an extensive healthcare system that is paid for by the French government primarily through levying public taxes. Wherever you happen to be in France and whoever you are, you are entitled to medical treatment at the emergency ward of any public hospital in France.  Hospitals in France, especially the ones in larger cities or near tourist destinations, try to make sure there is an English speaking member of staff on duty to help translate. If, however, there is no English speaking member of staff when you get to the hospital, they will bring in an interpreter from outside.

French Healthcare system Standards

France has a good healthcare system that one would expect from a modern industrialized western European country. Doctors and nurses are well trained at one of the many universities in France, and medical equipment is generally up to date.  If you receive medical treatment at a hospital in France it is always a good idea to ask for a copy of the diagnosis, preferably in English, to take home with you just in case your doctor wants to see it.

French Healthcare System Costs

Because the French healthcare system is paid for through pblic taxes the overall ocst of seeing a doctor in France is much less than in the US and even many other European countries. Seeing a specialist, however, or undergoing various diagnostic tests will invariably add to the cost of your medical bill, so it’s worth asking whether or not the particular test is necessary.  If you are just visiting France when you receive medical treatment you’ll be asked to settle the bill at the time you are discharged. Otherwise, patients who live in France are sent their medical bills by post.

Healthcare & Medicine in France

Pharmacies in France, or pharmaciens, are plentiful and can be recognized by a green cross that is light up with neon if the pharmacy is open. Pharmacies in France operate on a rotational basis so there is always at least one place to obtain medicine in a French town or district at any time. If a pharmacy is closed there will still be a sign in the window stating where the nearest open pharmacy is. Pharmacists in France are usually quite helpful and willing to suggest treatments for minor ailments. Just make sure you understand the required dosage of any medicine you take and how often you need to take it.


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