Parisian Living

Sick in Paris? French Medical Assistance 101

by Sylvia Sabes
Written By

Sylvia Sabes

When not hitting the ol’ cobblestones hunting down the hottest new addresses for her job as Paris Expert for Afar magazine and Luxe City Guides, Sylvia pretends to be swamped disguised as a wife and mom. You can read more of her work at (link below) or follow her adventures on FB @SylviaDublanc View Sylvia Sabes's Website
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Emma Stencil

Emma’s love for France began at the age of three when her aunt bought her an IKKS gilet and skirt from Paris. Since then she’s jumped at every chance to travel in Europe. She lives in Versailles and spends her days looking after two French children and lounging at Parisian cafés.

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8 comments on “Sick in Paris? French Medical Assistance 101

Thank you so much for this post! I found it when googling what to do when sick in Paris and in need of antibiotics. I called SOS Médecins and they came within an hour. Now my husband is out getting the prescription for me and I hope soon my strep throat will be under control. I am so grateful to you because I wouldn’t have known to call them otherwise.

I can’t believe you mentioned Compeeds. I get a supply of them every time I’m in Paris. They’ve saved my life more than once.

It is good that you mention that pharmacists in Paris, and all over France, can give you advice on medication. Here in the US it is unheard of. I always go to them first if we have any health issues when we are in Paris.

Oh the point of my post .. besides kissing doctors .. I loved loved loved the pharmacies in Buenos Aires, they were just like Paris.
You can buy water pills, antibiotics, all sorts of things, over the counter.
Sooo civilized.

This sounds so much like the way life and doctors are in Buenos Aires Argentina. Although most of them spoke perfect English ( My surgeon teaches at NYU ..)
But the charm .. when do you ever go to a doctor in the US and when he comes into the room, he kisses you first. It is enough to make a girl a hypochondriac 🙂

I too had to call SOS Médecins once when I was a teaching assistant and lived in a backyard shed (not even joking) in Val d’Oise. I had a high fever for 3 days and on the 3rd day I needed relief from the superflu. Great service and cheap by American standards! I’m never afraid to get the bill either for medical services in France. I love when I go to the pharmacist and they warn me “ooh, that medicine is expensive.” And it’s the equivalent of $20. I think I’m their happiest customer!

And kind of related, veterinary care in France is top notch as well (at least my vet). We’ve had to call the emergency vet a few times too and they’ve also been great.

Thanks for the love in the related links. Bon week-end! 😉

Great article! What blew me away my first year here was that although I had private travel insurance, I never had to use it. A visit to a general practitioner is 23€, and SOS Medecins are, as you mentioned, about 70€. And can you imagine a doctor making house calls in the US for that amount? Yesterday, I had a dental exam and 360-degree xray for 44€ and a filling and cleaning today for 70€. It’s unreal the difference in cost when you come from the US!

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