In case of a medical emergency in France, the number to call is 15. This emergency medical assistance number can be used to request an ambulance, medical help, or to report an accident. The call center is operated 24/7, and English-speaking operators are available to assist non-French speakers.
For mental health emergencies, the national suicide prevention helpline number is 0 800 858 858. The line is open 24/7 and is free of charge.
Emergency Medical Treatment in France
Emergency medical treatment in France can be provided in various facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and private medical practices. In case of a life-threatening emergency, the nearest hospital emergency room is usually the best option. Some larger hospitals in major cities have specialized emergency departments, such as trauma centers or pediatric emergency units.
For non-life-threatening emergencies, medical treatment can be provided at walk-in clinics or private medical practices. These options are often more accessible and offer shorter wait times than hospital emergency rooms.
Pharmacies are also widely available in France and can provide some emergency medical services, such as medication for minor ailments or injuries.
Cost and Insurance for Emergency Treatment in France
Emergency medical treatment in France is generally free of charge, regardless of whether the patient is a resident or a tourist. This includes emergency ambulance transportation, emergency department treatment, and emergency hospitalization.
However, there may be some out-of-pocket expenses for non-emergency services, such as visiting a private medical practice or obtaining prescription medication. In these cases, travelers are advised to check their insurance coverage and verify whether their insurance plan covers emergency medical treatment abroad.
EU residents with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) can receive emergency medical treatment in France at the same cost as French nationals. Non-EU residents are advised to obtain travel health insurance to cover any emergency medical expenses.
In some cases, medical evacuation may be necessary for seriously ill or injured patients who require specialized treatment that is not available locally. Medical evacuation can be costly and is not covered by the French healthcare system. Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance that includes medical evacuation coverage.