Emergency treatment in France

This article provides you with basic information on emergency treatment during a trip to France. What you need to know concerning healthcare access in France as an EU citizen and as a non-EU citizen.

EU-citizens travelling to France

  • If you are a citizen of the European Union and you have a compulsory health insurance you are entitled to emergency medical care in accordance with the legal benefits of the state in which you are treated (in this case France).
  • EU-citizens with statutory health insurance should ask their national insurance for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving to France. This card is included in your insurance and causes no additional costs.
  • When getting sick or involved in an accident you have to present this EHIC to the French doctor or in a French hospital before treatment. The necessary medical expenses will be obtained.
  • Normally you do not have to pay for the treatment. However, please note that some health professionals may not know the mechanism of the EHIC. Therefore, we would recommend you to carefully check any form before signing, in order to make sure that all the information concerning your insurance is correct.
  • The EHIC enables you to benefit from medical treatments under the same conditions as a person insured in France. These can slightly differ from the conditions in your home country.
  • If you are not able to present your EHIC, you will have to pay for the treatment according to the tariffs for the French health insurance.
  • If you have a chronic condition and are likely to need treatment abroad, you should contact your health insurance for information about appropriate medical centres for your stay in France and any associated costs.
  • It may be useful to pay for an additional travel insurance that covers additional costs such as the transport back home. Compare their offer with the benefits covered by your regular health insurance.

Be careful: depending on the care you received, all your expenses are not systematically covered. So it may be useful to subscribe to a complementary insurance (for health or travel) which will cover extra costs such as repatriation.

Non-EU citizens

If you come from a country that isn’t a Member State of the European Union and your home country has no special agreement with France in regard to social insurance, you are not protected by the compulsory health insurance in France. Since you will have to pay the costs for the medical treatment yourself, it is advisable to take on a private health insurance cover to meet any medical or repatriation costs.

National Points of contact

The EU-Directive also provides for the establishment of a network of national points of contact. The aim is to strengthen the patients trust in the European Healthcare Market and provide concrete help and information. In France, the national contact point is the Cleiss.

For more information on cross-border health care and national contact points