We very much hope you will not need this page of holiday health care. But keep it in mind as it may save you some worry and time if sudden sickness fells you. An emergency? Who to call here.
European Health Insurance Card
European? Make sure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is up to date.
This card will entitle you to some free healthcare and discounts. Yes it does need backing up with with travel insurance and most insurers will expect you to have the EHIC. But did you know they will often waive excess charges if you have an EHIC?
The EHIC is entirely free and replaced the old E111 in 2006. If a website tries to charge you for one, it’s the wrong website.
- From the UK? Apply for your EHIC card here.
- Find more about accessing healthcare in France a UK NHS guide
- The EU guide to EHIC here.
From outside Europe? You will know a lot more about insurance than we do, just remember to buy some!
Need a Doctor or Dentist?
Before making an appointment with a doctor or dentist make sure that they are registered with the state ‘conventionné‘ or you will be paying private health fees.
Doctoralia.fr is a very useful website. You can search by town to see a comprehensive list of local healthcare professionals, then search again by specialism.
Your visit to a GP will cost from around €20. French rusty? View Doctorialia in google chrome for instant translations. We have also compiled a list of useful health phrases as the bottom of this page. Here are a few to get you started:
The wonderful Doctoralia.fr can also be used to find a chemist. After searching for your town, choose the ‘Centres Médicaux’ option. Out of wifi range? Search for ‘médecin’ in the local paper or directory.
Need a visit from a doctor?
Call 3624 to ask for a doctor to visit, but this will be chargeable.
Need an emergency dentist?
The Pages Jaunes, the French yellow pages will be able to help. Search for ‘urgences dentaires’ in your region. Do expect a charge so check your insurance.
Easy to spot, the local pharmacy is advertised with a bright green fluorescent cross. When the light is on the pharmacy is open.
‘Pharmacie de garde’/Out of hours service
In towns there is usually a pharmacy open on a Sunday and occasionally a 24hr pharmacy. However in smaller towns you may need to ring the bell for urgent assistance.
To find an out of hours pharmacy
- dial 32 37 or
- Search the 32 37 website
Local media will also report on pharmacy rotas or try googling for ‘pharmacie de garde‘ + name of town.
Basic healthcare phrases
As mime will only get you so far (believe me we know) , here are some handy health translations:
I need – Je besoin…
|A doctor||un médecin|
|some aspirin||de l’aspirine|
|some ibuprofen||de l’Ibuprofène|
|a painkiller||un analgésique|
|some lozenges||des pastilles|
|some cough sweets||des pastilles pour la toux|
|some cough mixture||du sirop pour la toux|
|some Rennies tablets||des Rennies|
|some SMECTA (common medicine for diarrhoea and indigestion)||du SMECTA|
|some lip protector||du Labello|
|some nicotine patches||des patchs de nicotine|
|some nicotine patches||des timbres à la nicotine|
|a laxative||un laxatif|
|an antiseptic||un antiseptique|
|sleeping tablets, something to help one sleep||un somnifère|
|something for…||quelque chose contre…|
|…headaches||…les maux de tête|
|…insect bites||…les piqûres d’insectes|
|…travel sickness||…le mal des transports|
|In labour/having contractions||Avoir contractions|
|I am in labour||Je suis en train d’accoucher|