Paris is the proud owner of Europe’s most extensive hospital system, provided by the Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris. EU citizens and passport-holders can easily use the French social security system which reimburses up to 70% of all medical costs incurred. However, if you’re not actually living in an EU country, it is recommended that you check whether this insurance scheme applies to your personal case.
For most tourists, travel insurance policies are a must. Make sure they cover theft, loss and medical problems so you’re completely covered for any emergency.
No vaccinations are required to travel to France and the EU emergency number (112) applies. You can also call 18 for the fire brigade, 17 for the police and 15 (SAMU) if you need an ambulance but keep in mind that, unlike the EU emergency number, you’ll at least need some French to communicate what’s wrong.
If you’re in a real emergency and need urgent treatment, call Urgences Médicales de Paris (01 53 94 94 94) or SOS Médicins (01 47 07 77 77) which offer 24-hour house calls for fees around €35 and €90 (depending on time of day and access to French social security).
There are two hospitals in Paris with 24-hour emergency rooms that have staff speaking in English to better accommodate foreign patients: the American Hospital in Paris and the smaller albeit cheaper Hertford British Hospital. Make sure you look up their opening hours and addresses before travelling.
For dental emergencies either go to the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière (which has a 24-hour emergency room) or call SOS Dentaire (01 43 37 51 00) from 8pm to 11pm on weekdays and from 9:45am to 11pm on weekends. Keep in mind that every medical and dental service provided will be charged.
Chemists and pharmacies are usually open from 8am to 8pm from Mondays to Saturdays. Different pharmacies work the Sunday shifts on any given week and some even include a night shift. For this information, simply walk over to your nearest chemist and read the list printed on its window detailing which nearby pharmacies are working extracurricular hours.
Smoking is banned in any closed public venues in Paris, including – but not limited to – public places, workplaces, health centers, schools, public transport, hotels, restaurants, bars, tobacco shops, casinos and nightclubs. If the café, restaurant or pub you’re in has an open terrace, smoking is allowed there. Some venues might offer designated open smoking areas for their smoking customers, but the law does not require it – if you must smoke, make sure you ask first.
For more information about Medical Services and Health Care in Paris or tourism in Paris, contact us and we will gladly send you further material about any subject of your interest. We will e-mail this information at no cost within 72 hours and it will be specific to your requirements.
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