Manuela Giles 01/09/2021
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When relocating to a new country everybody is always cautious on the type of health care system provided.

France has been ranked the top country in Europe with the best public health care system and number 7 globally. This already tells a lot about the type of care you should expect as a person moving to France.

Private practice by physicians and companies has also been endorsed by the government to provide the best healthcare in the country. There is a range of companies that offer outside programs on fitness, healthy living, and nutrition.

To filter and get the best outside health and fitness enrollment programs within France, you can read some reviews about such companies from website.

In case you are hunting for a nutritional program Weight Watchers may be a good place to start. Look at other customers’ experiences with the company and compare their reviews with other similar programs before deciding to choose to purchase their services.

In this article, I ought to give everything you need to know about the public health care system in France.

1. Financing 

A good place to start is by looking at the finances and the funding of the Healthcare system. After all, one of the most important factors in determining the best healthcare to choose from is payment.

You need to choose a service of good quality and affordable.

Financing the public healthcare system is majorly contributed by the government of France.

The government reimburses patients about 70% of their total medical costs and for those with long-term ailments they can get up to 100% reimbursement. This translates to roughly 10% of the country’s GDP being channelled to healthcare.

2. Health Insurance 

To be ranked as one of the top 10 countries in the world with the best healthcare services leaves a presumption that the Health insurance Services are top-notch. This is true.

There are different types of acceptable Health insurance services in France;

Public health insurance – it is the largest and covers a majority of the people with a residence foreign students children employees self-employed, freelancers, and business owners.

  • Protection Universelle Maladie, (PUMA) – this is the universal health care system. It is available for ex-pats.
  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – this coverage is available for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who are in the country for a short period of stay.
  • CMU-complémentaire (CMU-C) – this is Health Care insurance Services offered to unemployed or low-income earners within France.

The normal coverage of public insurance is Doctors, medicines, emergency services, dental care, maternity care and in some cases specialist services.

  • Private health insurance – Foreigners who are not members of the European economic areas or the European Union are required to take private health insurance covers from private insurance to cover their duration of stay.

With private health insurance, it is also possible for French citizens and residents to get supplementary coverage from these private insurers.

3. Hospitals  

There are three major types of hospitals in France;

  • Public hospitals – they are owned by the state. Medical practitioners are paid by the state. And services rendered are reimbursed using insurance.
  • Private hospitals (for-profit) – some of them are state-approved and work in conjunction with the national healthcare service. And a patient may be referred from the national healthcare services to private practitioners and the other way around.
  • Private hospitals (non-profit) – maybe round by non-governmental organisations or religious groups.

4. Emergencies 

In case of emergencies when in France the right medical service is the urgent medical Service (SAMU) (Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente).

The tel number for emergency services are 112, (Works for both police fire and ambulatory services) or number 15 for SAMU services.

The cost of emergency services is free. However, abuse is not permissible and in some cases will result in serious punishment by law.

5. Specialists versus general practitioners 

Physicians can either practice as public or private physicians. Even still a majority of their income comes from public insurance funds.

Residents in France are required to choose general practitioners within the French healthcare system. (Not compulsory for children under the age of 16). The reason for this is that it reduces medical costs.

Another option is to choose to work with a specialist which is often more expensive and one may or may not get reimbursements with their French health insurance scheme.

To get reimbursements from your health insurance cover you are required to prove that your visit to the specialist was in the direction of a general practitioner.