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Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

Bolton, United...
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Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

A recent thread has prompted me to ask for experiences of BRITISH tourists being taken ill in Paris.

We often get reports for non EU and US citizens who of course are used to a private healthcare system but rarely do British people report what happens.

I have twice had experience of being taken ill in Europe. My husband was admitted to hospital in Latvia. No charge was made. We showed our European healthcare card, they filled in a for, we signed and he got excellent care.

We once saw an emergency doctor as a hospital outpatient, in the south of France, when I injured my foot and we were not charged, He told us it was not broken. Again they took the card, filled in a form, gave us a letter for our UK GP and sent us on our way

My friend was taken ill in Spain but had left her Healthcare card in the hotel room. They said she had to have it on her person, so her insurance company got a hefty bill as ALL of her treatment was charged.

Of course we always travel with comprehensive health and travel insurance as well as our healthcare card.

Here is an interesting link to information for others.

http://about-france.com/medical-help.htm

Denise

Love from England

Languedoc-Roussillon...
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1. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

That's a useful link, Denise, and also a useful thread.

Sounds as though your friend was unlucky with her EHIC card; what a pity she didn't have it with her, or couldn't have it collected.

Even if someone finds their EHIC has run out, confirmation can be supplied to hospitals etc abroad by ringing: 0044 (0)191 218 1999.

My son found that his EHIC had run out when he checked it following a friend’s accident. He phoned me, I contacted EHIC and was told he would be covered without it if he needed medical care; they would happily fax a copy to the hospital/clinic. Link here:

nhs.uk/NHSEngland/…Introduction.aspx

I’ll set down below what happened to me last year, when I needed emergency care in hospital in the south of France and the after-care, in case it’s of use to anyone.

Following a fall I was cleaned up by the pompiers and taken to the hospital of my choice out of three in nearby towns (our small town doesn’t have it’s own hospital). This was totally free. I then found that the emergency department was no different to any I’d been in in UK; very busy, with plenty of waiting around involved. The care was good, if I’d needed to communicate in English there were usually staff around who spoke it, and the stitches on my face now don’t show at all.

I could have just walked out of the hospital after treatment, as nobody took my address on arrival, but I enquired where to find the office to settle up. There they hadn’t a clue what to do with an EHIC, and had to seek help from another office. I was sent a bill nearly 2 months later for the 30% not covered by the EHIC; this was claimed back from my travel insurance.

I was given a prescription for a medical pack before being discharged from hospital, and another for home visits from a nurse. I was told to find a nurse either from contacts or via yellow pages. I took the medical pack prescription to the pharmacy and received a box larger than for A4 paper, which I though was a mistake! But no; it contained every single thing the nurse would require for 10 home visits, each contained in a sterile pack within the box. My nurse came every other day for 12 days (6 visits), with the last two visits after the stitches were removed just for compression dressings, which the nurse brought with him.

I can’t remember the exact cost for the nurse’s visits, but it was quite small, and were also claimed back on travel insurance. The nurse visited on a Sunday at a small extra charge, and also on 14th July. The spare sterile packs are now in the house and car, just in case of need!

London, UK
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2. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

I would like to reinforce a couple of points that Garden Girlie referred to. EHIC cards do have an expiry date, so check that yours is current. The renewal process worked very smoothly for me. Also it does not cover all medical costs in all EU countries, so insurance is still required.

shp
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3. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

Gosh, thanks for this - I have just checked ours and they both expired in February - I thought they lasted 10 years but it is only 5. I have renewed them over the phone - 0845 606 2030 - as the web link doesn't seem to be working? It helps if you have you card in front of you when you phone as it asks for the PIN number.

4. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

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Finland
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5. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this thread more or less apply for all EU citizens?

In Finland the Health Authorities just recently started a campaign for the EHIC cards, after finding out that only a few of the Finns actually knew about them. We got our cards just a few weeks ago, thankfully none of us has needed it on previous trips in Europe. We have had travel insurance, of course, but never the less I am a bit disappointed that they haven't informed about the card earlier.

6. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

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Texas
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7. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

Health care in France is excellent. Why describe as a "downside" nursing staff who don't speak English? They are French people living and working in France.

It's unreasonable to expect everyone to speak English...

(And yes this applies to all EU citizens of which I am one.)

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8. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

This is the finnish equivalent to the link: kela.fi/in/…

I also found information (in swedish) on the KELA website that you could get a temporary paper certificate from KELA in case you're unable to present your EHIC card.

9. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

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Bolton, United...
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10. Re: Healthcare in Paris for BRITISH citizens. Your experiences.

>>"Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this thread more or less apply for all EU citizens?">>

I specifically asked for British experiences because most Brits are used to more or less a one tier system,to going to an NHS Doctor or Hospital and getting high quality, free treatment no questions asked. They are not used to paying at all. ....( of course there is private treatment, in the UK but you would not use that in an emergency)

Different EU countries have different systems it would seem, some pay up front, some top up national care with private treatment some also have free at the point if delivery systems, some are sent bills after. So if you are an EU citizen with an EU heallth card, the system may or may not be different depending on where you come from.

I was a bit confused how it works,as I was not charged at all on my one limited experience in France, yet other non Brits, seem to receive large bills.

I was also unaware that there were different types of hospitals in France, state and private, as here you would just go to a NHS hospital or doctor if you were taken ill.

How would you know the difference between a private and a state hospital?..other than the American Hospital which I now know is private.

It is very confusing and very often Americans talk about their experiences in the French healthcare system where they pay large fees.

I think I would panic if I was asked for a deposit of 6000euros for a laproscopy and a one night stay like a recent poster!

Thank you all for your very interesting replies.

Denise