THE EUROPEAN HEALTH INSURANCE CARD
In order to facilitate access to healthcare services, visitors are advised to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This card, valid in the European Economic Area (EEA, including the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein) and Switzerland, provides access to public sector health services in all the countries in the EEA. EHIC is a personal, non-transferable card supplied free of charge, valid for one year. You can obtain one by applying to your local health-care authority at least two weeks before leaving on holiday. Should you be leaving in less than two weeks following your application, your local authority may issue a temporary certificate valid for three months. Note: Children must have their own individual cards.
HOSPITALS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
A website for clinics in France lists hospitals and health clinics in France by region, department, and city. If you are looking for a doctor, dentist, nurse, hospital or clinic, the French health service’s on-line directory, Amelie Direct, can help you find the health professional or centre nearest you.
Pharmacies are generally open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, certain pharmacies remain open and ‘on duty’. To find the nearest ‘on-duty’ pharmacy, see the site called pharmacies de garde. Or, if you go to a local pharmacy that is closed, it should post the address of nearest pharmacie de garde on its door. Note: Some pharmacies are open on Sunday on a regular basis, others stay open late at night, and still others are open 24 hours a day.
It is important to be aware that during your stay in France, you are quite likely to taste and experience new foods while enjoying all that French gastronomy has to offer. In France, particularly with some of the dairy products that are available, unpasteurised milk - au lait cru - is used. This contributes to the flavour and texture of many products. It would be wise to be aware of any allergies you may have before trying some of the various French dairy products.