Hospitals in France

, Pharmacies, General (Photo )
, Pharmacies, General

What to do if you get very sick while visiting France

In any emergency, call tel. 112.

You can also call SAMU directly (from a land line) for an ambulance at tel. 15.

You should know that the World Health Orginization has ranked the French health care system as offering "the best overall healthcare in the world." So, yeah: socliaized medicine works. 

Also handy: French pharmacies, which tend to have more leeway in distributing medications that in the U.S. » more

Are French hospitals free?

In an emergency, you can will get treated for free in any hospital in France. If your injuries require admitance to the hopsital, there may be some minor fees—€18 a day covers room and board. (No, seriously. That €18 is not a typo. My brother-in-law was hospitalized in Paris once for several days, complete with X-rays and other diagnostic tests, and his bill was less than $100.)

A visit to a French doctor costs €25.

(For the record, few French people pay those full amounts. Their national insurance covers usually 70%–100% of all out-of-pocket costs.)

What about travel health insurance?

You should also look into and consider some travel health insurance. » more

Emergency evacuation insurance links

More on Health

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Do I need to buy travel health insurance for a trip to France? What about emergency medical evacuation?

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Drug stores (farmacie) in France—The first line of defense for the sick

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Staying healthy on the road: French hospitals, pharmacies, and travel health insurance

Right by Notre-Dame, the historic Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu still takes patients (Photo by Zenstar)

What to do if you get very sick while visiting Paris

French pharmacie are usually marked by illuminated green or green-and-blue crosses (Photo by Pat Guiney)

Drug stores (chemists) in Paris

 (Photo by Stilfehler)

Of Celsius and Fahrenheit