Can anyone give me some help/advice?

I need to register with a doctor now I live here in France, I do have a carte Vitale now.

Can anyone tell me what I need to do, also do French doctors speak any English as I only speak a little French and what do you need to do when trying to arrange to see a doctor, do they have an appointment system or do you just turn up and sit and wait.


You could also write out what you want to say in English, and then use a translation tool, such as Google Translate. This can occasionally produce some howlers but would get the sense of the issue/medical problem across to your doctor. Learn some useful phrases, such as "how many tablets per day" etc. You will be given a prescription to take to the pharmacy if medication is required. The pharmacy will fill your prescription and give it back to you - this bit is important - keep this prescription and the Feuilles de Soins, together with the Feuilles de Soins you got from the doctor. This will enable you to claim any refunds until you are up and running with your mutuelle associated with your Carte Vitale.

Thank you Martha, we do have a few doctors in my area,just need to find one that speaks a little English.

Thanks James! Good Advice.


I lived here for 7 years, with my Carte Vitale and mutuel, and without registering with a doctor. I sampled many trying to I could find one I liked. Occasionally, I would be asked who my medecin traitant was and I always replied that I could not yet find a nice one. This usually made medical professionals laugh. Many of them told me to take my time. One told me "You actually don't have to have one, you know," though I do not know if this is true. I now have signed on with a doctor whom I trust and respect, but am glad I took my time. It is much easier to go slowly when choosing than to change later.

Some doctors only see people by appointment, but a lot of surgeries just have open visiting hours where you can just turn up and wait.

Take a dictionary with you, in case you need to explain anything particularly complex.

No problem Brian. This discussion might produce some useful information.

Thank you Veronique for your help and Advice!

Thanks Roger!

Thank you David for your help and advice!

Thank you Sheila I will start looking for a local doctor! and the price of a mutuelle.

Hi Brian. As soon as we received our Carte Vitale, we registered with our doctor. She had the forms, and helped me fill them out (one for each of us). We also took out a mutuelle and don't have to pay anything up front - just remember to bring the Carte Vitale to doctor and pharmacy. For your first visit once you have your mutuelle, bring the letter confirming you are insured as there is a reference number (unique to each mutuelle). That will then be associated with your Carte Vitale.

Can I add that our initial experience with Pharmacies was that you had to pay up front even with a CV, and then had to reclaim the cost firstly from CPAM and then from the Mutuel. We soon 'registered' with our local Pharmacie and since then just provided the CV for a cash free 'ordonnance'.

Our mutuel pays the difference and CPAM pass on the cost to the Mutuel automatically.

As already said most educated French persons speak at least sufficient English to pass ideas over, our surgeon tho' worked in London and in Australia and spoke Straine quite well, our Doctor has a large expat practice. so ask round, talk to your practitioner and whoever you feel comfortable with.............Choose.

Similarly we have to pay our Médecin Traitante his 23€ and our Kiné lady her 16€ but receive the remboursement directly into our French bank account.

1. Déclaration de choix du médecin traitant

N° Cerfa : 12485*02 - N° d’homologation ministérielle : S3704a
This can be downloaded from this site
Having found a doctor you fill in the form and send it to the Caisse d'assurance that provided your carte vitale. I think all doctors run an appointment system and many do speak English. You can choose to change your doctor any time you wish

You go to the Dr of your choice (ask your friends/neighbours who they recommend, failing that there's a list in the Yellow Pages) clutching your carte vitale, he/she will give you a form to fill in saying you are registered with him or her (this means you get more back from your health insurance - you can go to any Dr without filling anything in but will be repaid less) you make an appointment & then go & wait.

A standard GP consultation costs 23 euros for which you pay up-front & are then reimbursed a percentage by your health insurance. If you need to see a specialist you can either go off your own bat or be referred by your GP.

If you need a prescription you will get one & then you go to to the pharmacie where you hand over your carte vitale again & pay a minimal amount for your drugs. There is no prescription charge like the one in GB.

Most educated people can read & write English but aren't necessarily at ease speaking English - it is worth asking around. You are probably better off with a nice competent Dr who doesn't speak English than a twit who does, you can always take someone along to interpret for you.

I hope this helps!