France Property Guides takes a look at the healthcare system in France and brings you the latest updates on how it all works.
Health care is one of the top considerations for us all when thinking of moving to France or buying a second home here. France is renowned for having one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Standards are very high, the hospitals modern and fully equipped and waiting times both at doctors’ surgeries and hospitals short. The system is a mixture of state health provision topped up with your own insurance.
If you are working in France and are in the tax system then you can register for French healthcare and will receive a Carte Vitale, which must be presented at the doctor’s surgery and in the pharmacy – it holds all your medical information. Retired people can still register by proving that they receive their pension from the UK, which they do by obtaining an S1 Form from the Department of Work and Pensions in Newcastle. If you have been living in France for at least five years you are also entitled to subscribe to the system.
You will be credited for 70 percent of the bill. This is where the top up insurance comes in, to pay the other 30 percent.
The best thing to do when you arrive in France is to register with the Assurance Maladie. You need to visit your local CPAM office, which can be found in most towns, and fill out the paperwork to start the process. You have to choose your local GP – incidentally the cost of a GP consultation has just gone up to €25 – and present your Carte Vitale to him or her. You will be credited for 70 percent of the bill. This is where the top up insurance comes in, to pay the other 30 percent. There are plenty of insurance companies offering this service and the type you choose will depend on your needs. It can, for example, cover certain dental and optical treatment.
No-one yet knows what arrangements will be made for expats once we come out of Europe. However, it does seem likely that British people will still be entitled to register with the French system through the UK. Since there are plenty of French people living in the UK and it works both ways!
The Samu (ambulance service) is 15, police 17 and fire brigade 18. However there is also a very useful general emergency number which is 112
It’s always useful to make a note of the emergency numbers in France. The Samu (ambulance service) is 15, police 17 and fire brigade 18. However there is also a very useful general emergency number which is 112 – all these numbers are free of charge from any French landline or mobile.
Finally, it is also worth remembering that pharmacies will treat minor injuries and give advice on minor ailments.