👩⚕️ 👨⚕️ Here are a few tips regarding the French healthcare system.
Emergency number : 112 (pan-European emergency number)
In case of an emergency, you can go to the emergency services at the hospital, where you will be taken care of free of charge. However you should know that if you show up there with the flu or some problem that is not a real emergency, you are going to wait for a very long time.
In the vast majority of cases, you should go see a family doctor (“médecin généraliste”). You are free to choose any doctor you prefer, but once you find one, you have to register with them as you attending doctor (“médécin traitant”) in order to claim full reimbursement via the French healthcare system. You have to fill this form with them.
🔥 Many family doctors in downtown Aix already have too many patients, so they won’t accept you as new patient. Don’t take it personally 😉
Your médecin traitant can refer you to other doctors and specialists. With their referral, around 70% of the costs will be reimbursed. You should know that if you go directly to see a specialist (dermatologist for instance) you won’t be reimbursed as much !
Here is a list of the specialists you can go see without a referral :
– Psychiatrist (if you’re under 26)
You will likely get a prescription that you just have to present to any pharmacy. Depending on what your doctor picked and your mutuelle cover, you will be reimbursed 15, 30, 65 or 100%. Some medications are not reimbursed at all. Note that the pharmacist will sometimes ask you if you agree to have the generic drug rather than the “branded” one. The generic one (a copy of a branded one which patent expired) will be around 30% cheaper.
👩 Women’s healthcare
As mentioned above, gynecologists are accessible through public insurance without a referral. You are free to pick your gynecologist. You should know that contraception can also be prescribed by midwives and family doctors (and it’s often easier to get a quick appointment with them than with a gynecologist). Around 65% of contraceptive costs are reimbursed. They are free at family planning centers.
You can find here a list of feminist gynecologists and midwives, based on recommendations.
👄 Going to the dentist
You are free to go to any dentist, without a referral and without registering with them (unlike family doctors). Dental charges will be reimbursed 70% by the French healthcare.
💻 Finding doctors and appointments online
There are two very useful websites for this:
Annuaire santé Ameli : the official website listing doctors in France
Doctolib : booking appointments online (not all doctors are on this platform, sometimes a good old-fashioned call is the best way to get an appointment!)