Are there any vaccinations I should get or other health precautions to take as I prepare for my move to your city?
No vaccinations are required, but all travelers coming into France should be up-to-date on tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio and varicella immunizations. It is also important to bring any medical certificates/records from your home country. Check any other specific vaccination requirements carefully with your local French consulate or embassy to confirm medical requirements.
Before I get sick, what should I know about seeking medical care in your city as an expat?
If you come to France as a détaché, or on assignment with a company, the French branch of your company will pay for private insurance for you and your family. If your status is that of an expat, with a CDI or indefinite term contract in France, the hiring company will organize your registration within the French Social Security system. In either situation, you will be covered.
If you come to France on your own (i.e., independent of an employer), you will need private insurance.
For child emergencies:
Hôpital Fondation Lanval
Urgences enfants Accueil des Urgences Pédiatriques
57, avenue de la Californie
Tel: 04 92 03 03 03
What is the word for "doctor" in the local language?
In French, "doctor" is "docteur" or "médecin."
What is the best way to locate a suitable health care provider?
French health insurance (sécurité sociale) has traditionally been available to every resident in
France: French national or foreigner, whether salaried, working as an independent artisan or professional, unemployed or retired.
The system is complex with allowances varying, depending on a person's status. The information below provides an introduction and general guidelines on eligibility, including registration with CPAM and how to join the social security system, the Carte Vitale and Top-up Insurance (mutuelle ).
Social Security (Health Insurance)
All residents in France are obliged by law to have health insurance. Most qualify for the state health insurance (sécurité sociale); in local terms this means affiliating to the CPAM or Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie.
- CPAM French Health Insurance Advice Line (English-speaking) open Monday to Friday 09:00-18:00: Tel: 0811 363 646
Comprehensive information from CLEISS (Centre des Liasons Européennes et Internationales de Sécurité Sociale) in English is available on its website.
- Ameli (Assurance Maladie en Ligne) has clear information in English available on its website.
- Ameli branch in the Charente-Maritimes provides details on the French health care system and how it applies to British citizens
Choosing an Attending Practitioner
Any doctor can be nominated as the attending practitioner, provided they agree to this role. While it is recommended that a GP (généraliste ) be named, this isn't obligatory. They may be a GP, a specialist, in private practice or at a hospital or clinic, and need not be geographically close to the patient. The only stipulation is that an individual is named, not an entire group practice (cabinet de groupe).
Once a doctor has been asked and agrees, both the doctor and patient complete the Cerfa form No
12485*01 Déclaration de Choix du Médecin Traitant (Statement of Attending Physician Choice), which they sign and stamp. The patient then sends this form to their CPAM (Caisse d'Assurance Maladie) office.
All members of a family are not obliged to nominate the same doctor. Any person 16 years or older may approach the doctor of their choice; a declaration by people under 18 years must be signed by a parent or guardian.
Do expats in the area tend to leave the city/area/country to seek medical care? If so, why and where do they go?
People do not tend to leave the area to seek medical advice; there are hospitals and medical care close by.
What is the number to call to summon help in an emergency? List medical/fire/police.
Below is a list of important numbers to keep handy in case of an emergency:
There is no guarantee that any English will be spoken on any of these emergency and helpline telephone numbers.
Medical help/SAMU = 15
Police/Police Nationale = 17
Fire & accident/Sapeurs Pompiers = 18
SOS - all services (calling from a mobile) = 112
All emergency numbers can be reached from pay phones, without the use of a phone card or money.
- Médecins d'urgence (Nice): 24/7 emergency doctors - Tel: 04 93 52 42 42
- Emergencies at sea or on a lake - Tel: 1616
- English-speaking medical assistance in the Alpes-Maritimes: Tel: 04 93 26 12 70
Town pharmacies also operate after hours on rotation. Details are available at your local pharmacy. In case of an emergency, the details of the nearest after-hours pharmacy are usually posted on the door.
What do I do if there's an emergency in the middle of the night—or at another time when my normal doctor/clinic is unavailable?
If an emergency occurs in the middle of the night, either call one of the numbers above and wait for an ambulance or have a family member or friend drive you to the closest major hospital in your area.
Major hospitals have 24-hour emergency clinics, so identifying the closest 24-hour emergency clinic from where you live is an important first task once you have had a chance to settle in.
How will I recognize a pharmacy? What is it called in the local language?
Pharmacies are commonly known as "Pharmacie" and display a flashing green cross.
Is the water safe to drink?
French people have been drinking mineral and spring water for generations. Six-packs of water are a standard item on their shopping list. However, tap water is very safe.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.