Visiting a Doctor in France



In a highly industrialized nation such as France where the health care system is one of the best in the world, finding quality health care is easy.

All doctors in France are members of the French Medical Association (Conseil National de l'Ordre des Médecins) so for newly arrived expats with not many acquaintances to ask for referrals, a visit to the FMA website will be helpful. 

When coming to a hospital in France, expats who are citizens of European Union countries will simply have to present an EHIC card, which is valid for five years and will serve as their passport to free medical treatment. Non-EU citizens can check with their consular offices for any bilateral agreements with their country of origin that may be in effect. If none, an expat can purchase private insurance but must make sure he will be covered in France. 

After seeing a doctor, a patient signs a "feuille de soins" which is a document proving treatment has been made and, in some cases, an "ordonnance" or prescription. Sometimes, private doctors in France may refer patients to other independent doctors without extra fees. As opposed to other countries, patients also usually go directly to specialists instead of a general practitioner. In any case, international health insurance France providers or the government's public insurance system will be helpful for any expat.