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Living in the Languedoc:    The Medical System

The French health system is essentially a huge, largely compulsory, state insurance scheme, similar in principle to the British National Health Service. There however many differences.
As a rather crude summary, the French state system costs about twice as much per person, and delivers a service that is about twice as good.
In France you are much freer to chose your choose your French medical practioners doctors and specialists alike. Queues and waiting times are much less than in the UK.
Medical institutions are similar to those in the UK - hospitals, clinics and hospices. Similarly, Pharmacists work on the same lines as in the UK, and emergencies are handled in much the same way.
In general, except for major interventions, the state system does not cover the full cost of treatment, and even when it does you need to pay when you see a doctor, dentist, specialist, nurse, or other professional. In most cases the French SÚcuritÚ Sociale bears the greater part of the cost, but you pay up front and then apply to be reimbursed by the CPAM for the part covered by the state system, and if you have insurance by your Mutuelle for the balance.
As an EU citizen, you enjoy reciprocal rights, but a UK E111 only covers you for emergencies. If you plan to live in France, you should register at your local CPAM, ask at your Mairie for details.
For more information on healthcare, visit  
Click on the following link to read a more detailed article about medicine in France.Next.
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