Health tips

[What if I am sick during my stay in France? / What medical services may I use?

For an emergency, overnight or on weekends, I call:

  • 15, a toll free number that will direct me to the emergency medical services (EMS - SAMU) who will determine the most appropriate medical service: healthcare association, private physician, on-call medical home, hospital facility, or clinic.
  • 112, European emergency number, which will direct me to the fire brigade, then in case of medical need, to the EMS (SAMU) itself.

If it is not an emergency during the day, I go to a private physician’s office. The list of physicians according to their specialties, geographic areas, and fees charged may be found on the health insurance site.

How am I covered for medical expenses?

As a European citizen, I may request a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving, in order to be reimbursed upon my return for medical expenses paid in France. All information may be found on the Health Insurance website or CLEISS (Center for European and International Liaisons for Social Security).

If I am not a European citizen, the following link provides access to information specific to my country:

In any case, I may voluntarily take out travel insurance that will cover, for example, the cost of repatriation and medical assistance, if such coverage is not already provided by my credit card or my usual insurance.

What if I lose my medication or if I run out during my stay in France?

I prepare my medication before I leave for the duration of my trip.

With my doctor or pharmacist, I identify the international nonproprietary name (INN) of my medication, and if possible I have it written on my prescription. I can find the INN for every medication in the “Medication Directory” or at (in French). If I do not have this information, I have to contact my doctor in my home country to obtain it.

I ask advice from a pharmacy to see if my medication is OTC or on prescription. If a prescription is necessary, I must consult a doctor in France in order to obtain one.

What to do in case of a heat wave?

  • In order not to dehydrate, I drink regularly and moisturize my skin throughout the day.
  • I remain minimally exposed to heat during the journey.
  • I make regular breaks in cooled places.
  • I pay attention to vulnerable people, particularly the elderly.
  • I do not leave young children unattended in the car.
  • If I am a victim of heat stroke or illness, I immediately call 15.

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