What are French emergency numbers and helplines ? What documents should you have when you go to the emergency service in France? Who pays for the treatment? We explain everything in this article!
🚑 The emergency services : SAMU
👉 The main ambulance services in France are provided by the SAMU - Services d'Aide Médicale Urgente - which is part of the public hospital system. If you can't get to the hospital on your own, you can call one of these numbers:
The SAMU can be reached by simply dialling 15.
You can also call the fire brigade on 18.
Or call the European emergency services number 112.
🏥 Hospital emergency services
👉 You can also go directly to the local hospital on your own.
⚠️ Not all hospitals offer an emergency department. You can find the list here.
Select "Emergency medicine" in the "Activities" filter.
📃 Emergency: the documents you need
👉If you are admitted to hospital, you must have with you:
Your health insurance card (carte vitale), or ;
The certificate you received confirming your right to health care;
Your private insurance policy, if you have one;
Your passport or identity card.
💰Emergency: Who pays for the care?
👉Eligible treatment costs will be covered by your local health authority called Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM) - Carte Vitale.
👉If you are a visitor to France, you must present your European Health Insurance Card/GHIC or your private health insurance policy (mutuelle).
👉If you do not have health insurance and it is an emergency, you will always receive treatment, although you are responsible for the costs.
💰If you have a low income and are not legally resident in France, you can apply for state medical aid (Aide Médicale d'Etat, AME). Condition: you have lived in the country for at least 3 months.