France Healthcare System

The things you should know about France Healthcare System are unveiled in this piece of write up

The French healthcare system is one of the most recognized healthcare systems globally in offering the best services to people. It provides a universal cover that virtually all residents in France keenly support.

Introduction to France’s Healthcare System

With the highly integrated network of public hospitals, doctors, and public healthcare facilities, the system is able to deliver top-notch services to people timely.

The system doesn’t discriminate with the class of people to offer the services to as all citizens, irrespective of age, wealth, and status, have access to this premium healthcare.

As a resident in France, you are covered via the mandatory health insurance contributions in the nation.

There’s optional private insurance available for anyone who wants some extra coverage. You don’t have to worry as the French Government covers well above 75% of the total health expenditure in the country.

In France, the responsibility of administrating public healthcare rests on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, while different healthcare providers in the country handle primary and secondary healthcare services.

Are you looking for a country that focuses more on preventative healthcare services? France is that country you can always rest assured of. It offers regular medical checkups, addiction prevention, promotion of physical activity, and healthy consumption.

Who can have access to healthcare services in France?

If you are a resident of France, you can access healthcare services through French insurance contributions. But if you are a foreigner in the country, there’s a new healthcare system for you: the Protection Universelle Maladie (PUMA).

This special system enables you to access state healthcare after three years of staying in the country.

Legally, every resident needs to have some level of coverage for healthcare access, be it the state or private. In a situation where your income falls below a certain threshold, you may still be eligible for free commentary health insurance coverage.

If you are waiting for your legal residence to be finalized, you may still qualify for the State Medical Assistance. Also, if you are from EU/EEA/Switzerland, you can as well make use of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) in place of any coverage in France.

Similarly, any retirees from the EU/EEA/ Switzerland relocating to France can access healthcare services by filling the social security form in their home country.

Healthcare Costs in France 

Like many countries across the world, the French healthcare system is funded partially by obligatory social security contributions as stated earlier.

The money is deducted from peoples’ salary with employers paying around 13% of the salary while the employees are paying an approximately 8%.

Furthermore, the French Government also handles some aspects of the costs while the patients also require a smaller fragment of the cost in contribution to their healthcare costs.

The nation’s state health insurance takes up 70 – 100% of the costs for services, including doctor visits and hospital costs.

There’s 100% coverage for seeing a doctor or accessing healthcare services in any hospital in France for long-term sick patients. Interestingly, there’s no upfront demand from any healthcare personnel for accessing these services.

According to a recent report, France is one of the highest spenders on healthcare within the EU regarding percentage.

The country spends around 11.5% of GDP on healthcare provisions, thus coming holding a second position while Switzerland takes the first position (12.3%).

Public health insurance in France 

France is one of the few countries that operate a co-payment system for public healthcare services. The state health insurance takes up the majority of the costs. However, the reimbursement of the money is dependent on the service offerings.

When you visit a doctor as a French resident, dentist, or any medical specialist, the coverage is 70%.

In comparison, the money reimburses for visiting a hospital when ill is around 80% of the total costs. For prescribed medications, you should expect the coverage to be 100%.

With the availability of a health card, you won’t be required to make any upfront payment. But if you don’t have one, you will have to make an upfront payment towards the medical fees at the point of service. Then the reimbursement will come in between five to 10 days after.

Pros of the French Healthcare System 

  • The French healthcare system is very swift in terms of delivery. You won’t face the headache of waiting before you see a doctor or get treatments for a long time.
  • It is accessible to all residents of France, even if you are not a national of the country.
  • The system offers premium healthcare services, and it’s very affordable.
  • The healthcare services are available to you as an ex-pat once you’ve spent a period of three months or less in the country.
  • It doesn’t joke with preventive care as it is available for all residents of the country, which includes free checkups once every two years.
  • You don’t need a referral to see a specialist in France.

Cons of French Healthcare System 

  • The nationals and those working in France have to pay a considerable amount in taxes to ensure they keep access to the universal healthcare system.
  • You won’t have access to public healthcare services during the first three months of your resident in the country. This means you will have to take out private health insurance during this time.

Closing thoughts on France Healthcare System 

France’s healthcare system has continued to make marks in the lives of the people in the country as it offers premium healthcare services that stand shoulder to shoulder with any outstanding provisions across the world.

With taxes paid by people, the Government spends a decent amount of money on its mandatory healthcare services.

If you are a new resident of France or planning to move to the country, rest assured you won’t be breaking the bank to have access to top-notch healthcare services as the French Government is subsidizing the costs.


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