France is home to world-class healthcare facilities and one of the most accessible healthcare systems in Europe. There are approximately 1,400 hospitals in France, including private, public, for-profit and nonprofit facilities. If you’re traveling to France, you may be wondering how you’ll access medical care in case of an emergency.
Understanding France’s healthcare system is a great way to be prepared for potential illnesses or injuries while you’re in the country. It’s also important to locate international and English-speaking hospitals in France so you know where to go in the event of an emergency.
What Is the Quality of Medical Care in France?
France’s healthcare system includes world-class medical facilities, and patients have the option to choose their primary care physician. Also, patients can visit specialists in France without a physician’s prior referral. Many hospitals throughout France provide care while also overseeing research, teaching and emergency services.
The Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux Parisiens (AP-HP) provides most of France’s emergency care, but not all hospitals include emergency facilities. Before you search for the best hospitals in France, it’s best to check which facilities offer services in the area you’re visiting. Do so before your trip to ensure you have an easily accessible list of options.
Some religious organizations and charities run nonprofit clinics, and private for-profit clinics offer specialists in different disciplines. On the other hand, state-run public hospitals are heavily-regulated and typically cost much less than private facilities. Still, no matter where you seek medical help, you’ll receive a high level of care.
Health Insurance Coverage in France
If you experience any sort of illness, injury or medical emergency, you can receive care at French hospitals or international hospitals in France, whether you have insurance coverage or not. All healthcare providers in France will provide care first and work out financial details later. While you’ll have to pay for your services out-of-pocket when you don’t have insurance, French hospitals will never deny you care.
As a traveler, you’ll likely want to read through your travel insurance provider’s policies for healthcare when abroad. This way, you’ll be more informed about what to expect should you need to visit a hospital in France. If you don’t have travel insurance and you’re already in France, you can still receive thorough care that meets your needs.
Top English Hospitals in France
There are several English-speaking hospitals in Paris, the capital of France. This city sees millions of international visitors every year, so it makes sense that the city has numerous high-quality international hospitals. If you’re looking for hospitals in France that speak English, you can visit the following hospitals in Paris, France:
- Hôpital Foch
- Insitut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique (IHFB)
- American Hospital of Paris
- Adolphe de Rothschild Foundation Hospital
When it comes to English-speaking hospitals outside of Paris, you may have to search a bit harder. While you’re likely to find English-speaking doctors in Nice, one of the country’s largest concentrations of English speakers, more rural communities will only have French-speaking doctors. Of course, you’ll still receive quality care, but you’ll have a more difficult time communicating with the hospital’s staff.
To find English-speaking hospitals outside of Paris in the area you’re visiting specifically, contact your country’s embassy in France. There, they should be able to provide you with recommendations on where to go for medical care. If you’re experiencing an emergency, it’s best to contact 112, Europe’s emergency dispatch, so you can head to the nearest hospital — receiving immediate care is more important than trying to find the right international hospital.
How to Prepare for Medical Emergencies in France
Because medical emergencies can happen anywhere, it’s important to be prepared for anything when you’re traveling. If you become ill traveling abroad, you should have a plan in place. Research hospitals in and around the areas you’ll be staying and note where they’re located. Make a list of important phone numbers such as nearby hospitals, your health insurance company and any companions you may have in France.
If you’re visiting a rural area in France, it may help to travel with someone who speaks French and English so they can translate for you in case of an emergency. While dispatch respondents typically speak English, learning some basic French phrases never hurts. Ultimately, you want to be as prepared as possible before traveling abroad because the healthcare system and experience can differ greatly from your home country’s processes.
Consider adding medical evacuation insurance coverage to your health insurance plan, as well. This insurance covers repatriation and evacuation services in cases of illness or injuries. Uninsured evacuations can be expensive, so it’s important to have coverage in case you need to evacuate your location and return home. Add medical evacuation insurance coverage to your emergency plan for increased peace of mind.
If your insurance plan doesn’t include medical evacuation coverage, you can modify your plan before you leave your home country. Depending on your insurance provider and policy, you can add evacuation coverage for as little as several days or for up to one year. Contact your insurance provider to learn more about adding medical evacuation coverage to your plan.
Deal With Medical Emergencies in France With REVA
French hospitals provide accessible and quality care to travelers. While France’s healthcare system is top-notch, you may still find yourself in a situation where you need to evacuate or return home. In the case of illness or injury, REVA provides safe evacuation flights with critical-care medical treatment to transport patients securely.
REVA’s European air ambulance team will provide an experienced medical crew, a qualified flight crew, ground transportation and necessary documentation. We’ll arrive quickly and transport you to the nearest appropriate facility.
Receive compassionate and efficient care on your flight home with REVA’s air ambulance transportation. Our team is ready 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so we’re always available to help when you need it. Call +1-(305)-224-6031 or request a quote online to learn more about REVA’s services.