Health MOT

Bonjour les tous
In England it’s common to pop along to the GP and ask for a full MOT under Well Woman and Well Man Initiatives.
Is this common in France?
Would our GP raise his eyebrows?
merci bien

What would you expect to happen under your English MOT? When I signed up with our MT a few years back now, I certainly had a pretty thorough set of checks and blood tests as part of the initial registration process. I don’t recall anything more than that in the UK but I’ve been away for a few years now so it may have changed…

After the first confinement OH was invited to have a health check, covered 100%. Which he did.

The normal understanding is that your MT will keep an eye on you and check things as required. Which is certainly what happens with us as preventative medicine is quite good here. So I get all sorts of annual checks - gynaecology, cardiology, vit D, etc etc. Blood pressure and heart is checked every time I see the doctor, and one can ask for other things. So I have recently had a covid antibody test to see whether I need a third vaccine dose. If you are in the system then you should get the normal invites for colon cancer, breast cancer, etc.

Otherwise you can request a bilan de santé, which is very comprehensive, but your MT might raise an eyebrow as these are generally something for people who have very poor health cover.

Lucky you. I had nothing when I registered. No checks. No blood tests. My brother died of cancer of the oesophagus so I asked for an endoscopy. Instead he sent me to a cardiac chap who said my heart is fine, now he’s sending me to get my lungs tested! I presume when I’ve done that I might get an endoscopy.

invited to have a health check, covered 100%.

how wonderful lucky you

your MT
what’s an MT?
preventative medicine is quite good here
a French nurse told me last week France is useless at preventative medicine
I get all sorts of annual checks - gynaecology, cardiology

MT is your médecin traitant - ie your General Practitioner,

I personally think that one french nurse is wrong…and since a large segment of french nurses are anti-vaxxers there is a considerable range of views among nurses.

I don’t think I am that unusual in having had really good preventative care here - it seems similar to most of my french friends here. And having had heart and lungs checked is surely something? Did your doctor understand you when you explained about your brother, as seems odd not to explain why you weren’t being sent for endoscopy since it’ such a simple thing.

For gynaecology as long as you have declared a MT you don’t need to be referred and can just book an appointment.


@Pamela_Shields I agree with @JaneJones about the preventative medicine here. What I have noticed with some, at least, of the people here who express an alternative view, is that they haven’t any experience or knowledge of medical practices other than in France. When you only know one system, you are easily able to see the faults in it.

Medical processes here are certainly very different from the UK but I’ve not had this good healthcare before. I’m wondering two things really, one is whether your GP/MT actually understood your concerns (which language were you using? If English, not all MT’s are as good at it as they think they are!) and secondly, if he/she is that imperceptive, perhaps you could change MT’s? It’s not hard to register a different MT with CPAM…

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Yes, we had exactly the same when we signed up for our first MT. Absolutely nothing. Neighbours advised us that the local MT we signed up with was not popular at all and advised us to sign up with an MT in a neighbouring village. We did so, and what a difference. First meet we both had a thorough MOT at his surgery, and the blood tests he ordered needed 6 vials of blood and created a 30 page report. He also does the same every 12 months.


The French examinations and testing sound more comprehensive than most UK ones, usually just an excuse to prescribe statins where they are not needed and adoption of a seriously out of date 1970’s low fat high carbohydrate diet which will lead to more ill health

Morning Pamela

Cannot speak too highly of the healthcare we have received over the 5 years we have been here.

Full check over when we registered. Bloods etc

On hearing I have a history of colon cancer in the family, he arranged for me to have a colonoscopy. That was clear but am on on a risk list and am due for another next year.

As I had been on blood pressure tablets for some time he arranged for a check over with a heart man. Was OK but found I have a slight problem with one of my heart valves and now go for an annual check.

Every time I go for my prescription I get a general once over, and an annual blood test.

Could not ask for more, this compered to an annual visit to my GP in the UK, which usually lasted 5 mins.



It does seem that high blood pressure is an indicator not by itself an issue of a possible problem but it rises naturally with age. The obsession with trying to lower the indicator I have yet to understand.

My experience is that they just do well man checks once you reach a certain age. I first went to our family doctor here with one of our kids - after dealing with that, the doctor turned to me and asked how old I was (55 at the time I think) then gave me a thorough MOT there and then. He was surprised, initially, at how well I was - but when the blood tests came back they indicated prostate cancer, which led to several years of eventually successful treatment. They caught it early, by sheer luck. Worth the check-up!

I can’t emphasise enough how good the health system is in France - every aspect as far as I know: our family doctor is the best we’ve ever had by far, the local hospital far better than any I’ve been to in the UK (and I’m in a good position to judge, since my Dad also had prostate cancer and spent a lot of time in several UK hospitals, including one that had to regularly call in Red Cross volunteers to cope in A&E) - and the district nurses (infirmiers à domicile) here are equally good. And the pharmacies!

UK friends and relatives sometimes ask if we’d go back - I always say the French health service alone is reason enough to stay!


Because it’s an indicator with very strong correlation with all sorts of serious problems? And taking action to lower blood pressure does tend to mean adopting a much improved lifestyle which reduces other risks.

I had high blood pressure, now I have low blood pressure. The difference being that my lifestyle is now pretty exemplary…


Appreciated Jane, and good on you for making the changes. It was a reference to the act of lowering blood pressure rather than looking for the reason for the higher than age expected blood pressure. The body is a facinating machine

Yup…I just wish I could work out how to raise it again without re-adopting unhealthy habits.

The healthcare we have received in France has been thorough and excellent. Our MT either proposes a bilan complet every so often, or we ask for one. Here you always come away from tests/examinations with the results in your hand, which at first we found astonishing. And once seen, it is possible to ring and book appointments directly with a cardiologue, gynaecologue, urologue, oto-rhino-laryngologue, gastro-entérologue… in fact there’s hardly an ‘ologue’ that we haven’t seen at least once between us!

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Yes, we found that a bit weird at first, but it’s absolutely wonderful. You can see the health professional you want to and book the time yourself. It’s much better than the system in the UK where your options are very limited.

It certainly is a good system @hairbear but it takes quite a lot of getting used to! Frightening to start with, in my experience, as I really didn’t know how it should work. I found I was using the phrase "Je ne suis pas encore habitué au système médical français " an awful lot :smiley:

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Which ones are prescribing statins, the French or English MT/GP?
My cholesterol remains high with a history of family strokes, yet my MT is loathed to put me on statins, wheras in the UK I was obliged to take them from the age of 50 by my GP.

Morning Carl

When we came over I gave our MT a copy of my existing UK prescription, which included Statins.

He said all the meds were very standard and , as he said they were doing the job really well, just continued them.

Never had the statins queried.

Since then our MT has retired and our new MT said exactly the same thing.