Medical care in France
As a mom, this is one of those things that I worry about most: “What if” we need medical care while we are temporarily living abroad? Where do I go? How will I communicate with the doctors? How much will it cost? Here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and alleviate your worries:
See your doctor before you go:
- Get a clean bill of health
- Get an advance on prescriptions
- Take care of any shots, vaccines
- If your child is attending a local public school, you may be asked for the results of a recent TB test.
- Get a written copy of your vaccine chart for your kids
- Tell your doctor you’ll be leaving the country and ask if you can contact him/her via email if you have any concerns while away.
About travel medical insurance:
You can buy insurance to cover a variety of potential issues – from trip cancellation to medical care, evacuation and life insurance.
- Call your insurance company – find out what they will/not cover while you are abroad.
- Call your credit card company – find out what kind of travel coverage they offer.
- Travel Insurance Review is not an insurance company, but the site does a good job summarizing all the travel insurance possibilities. They also have a great buying guide where you can get quotes from reviewed and approved insurance providers.
- Squaremouth is an independent travel insurance agency that allows you to compare quotes and coverage from a variety of sources.
- Rick Steves also does a good job summarizing the complexities of travel and medical insurance.
Obtaining medical care in France:
Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals and can give medical advice. If your condition isn’t serious, ask a pharmacist for advice before looking for a doctor.
Seeing a doctor in France is much less expensive than in the US. Many physicians will even offer house calls for an additional fee.
In case of medical emergency, dial 15 from a landline or 112 from a mobile phone. In rural areas, the fire brigade may be quicker to respond: dail 18 from a landline.
SOS Medecins: This is essentially a group of on-call doctors who will come to your house/hotel. You will have to pay in cash at the time of their visit. When you call, ask for an approximate cost (usually 50-100 euros) and if an English speaking doctor is available. To reach them day or night, dial 3624.
Hospitals: Locating the nearest hospital near your séjour home may give you peace of mind. The property manager should be able to give you this information. If not, you could contact the embassy or consulate: http://www.usembassy.gov/
Travelling with disabilities: http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/health/health_4971.html
Travelling with allergies: www.allergytranslation.com