Every adult seeking medical attention must choose and register with a primary doctor in France or medecin traitant or you run the risk of paying higher healthcare fees and being reimbursed at a lower rate. Finding an English-speaking doctor in France is not difficult but you do need to do your research.
Since 2006 adult residents in France (not children aged 16 and under) must choose a GP or primary attending doctor in France. This is required by the French Health System. Those who fail to abide by this rule are penalised with high medical fees and face little to no reimbursement for health care services from their French Insurance Scheme.
This law was intended to reduce costs and place responsibility on your French doctor to draft a preventative and curative health plan for a patient’s treatment, maintain records of that treatment and refer the patient to specialists as needed.
Until the law came into play, anyone covered by French social security could go to any French doctor at any time. It was simple but encouraged abuse by letting patients consult with several doctors at a time without co-ordination of treatment, prescriptions etc.
European citizens can visit any French doctor using their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they are visiting France on a temporary basis.
Patients are free to choose their own doctor in France and register with them as their medecin traitant.
Mostly self-employed, primary French doctors either work alone or in group practises. Most have also signed a convention, a licensing system that doctor voluntarily enter in to with the state.
You can search the L’Assurance Maladie website to find a doctor in France working within the state system or check the French Yellow Pages (Pages Jaunes) for French doctors in the local area.
If you prefer English speaking doctors in France it is best to ask family and friends for recommendations as French doctors aren’t allowed to advertise.