L’Association Anglophone de Coutances has produced a free booklet to assist English-speaking residents and newcomers to France in their dealings with the French healthcare system.
Some of the information is detailed below. If you would like copies of the booklet, which also includes contact details and some useful medical words and phrases in French, please e-mail the Anglophone Association for further details.
The emergency ambulance service is run by SAMU (Service d’assistance medical d’urgences). The sapeurs-pompiers (firemen) may arrive first, but a medical team will follow if required.
SAMU 15 POLICE 17 POMPIERS 18
It is sensible to prepare and have to hand (in French) the following information which you may need to tell the emergency services:
*your address, *phone number and *directions to your house if you are difficult to find.
Also write down the name and address of your GP (médecin traitant), any regular medication you take, chronic illnesses, allergies and anything else you think might be useful. Then keep this information by the telephone.
To get information and advice about the French system, your social security insurance, benefits and healthcare rights in France, call the English-speaking French insurance advice line: 0811 36 36 46 (local call from a fixed line) or consult the website www.ameli.fr which has an English section. Remember that your local pharmacy is a very useful source of advice and information, and may often have English speaking staff. If you’re new to France, they will be able to help you find a GP.
If you need help communicating with staff during a stay in hospital, we have contact details for some British residents who can come and interpret for you, and who, if unavailable, can contact a replacement.
Their details can be found in our booklet.
Please e-mail the Anglophone Association to obtain a copy of this booklet.