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Medical services


Gynecology - The Family planning and education centers (CPEF)

These centers are free for those under 18 and for people without medical insurance. Doctors are there to:

  • Perform a gynecological examination and follow-up

  • Prescribe suitable contraception

  • Provide contraception free of charge for minors and people without medical insurance

  • Detect and treat sexually transmitted infections

There are marriage counselors for those who wonder about the difficulties in their marriage, their family, their role as parent ... They also support victims of violence.

🔎 Find a center nearby here

Bilingual doctors
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Find doctors speaking your language 

The most widely used website for booking medical appointments is Doctolib. After entering the type of doctor you are looking for, and your location, you can select a language. Sometimes you are asked if you have already met this doctor ("Avez-vous déjà consulté ce praticien?"). Why ? Because some doctors doesn't acept new patients. In this case, you have to find another one.


Psychological help

English speaking telephone helplines and professionals are available in France : 


For students : if you want to talk or confide in someone (in French, English or other languages), support services are designed for students. They are free, confidential and designed entirely with you in mind. Have a look of the census by academy in the website. For Lyon you can access directly to the document here.​​

For everyone : 

  • SOS Help : 01 46 21 46 46 (Every day from 3 pm to 11 pm), Local charge may apply. Dialogue and assistance in English for people in distress and their close circle.

  • Terrapsy - Psychologists without borders : 09 82 25 62 45 (Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 12:30 and 1:30 pm to 5 pm), Free call and services. Dialogue and psychological assistance for any individual made fragile or isolated by the lockdown. Dialogues in French, English and Arabic.

  • [LYON ONLY] Psychologue Lyon : a directory site which lists psychologists in Lyon. You can use the search criteria "spoken language" (note: the site is in French)

Psychological help

GP and specialists in France

To be refund correctly in the French healthcare system, you have to designate a chosen general practice doctor as your médecin traitant or regular GP. On the first visit to your GP, you will be given a registration form to fill in and send to your local Cpam. You should generally always consult your médecin traitant first with any medical problem except for paediatricians, ophthalmologists, gynaecologists or medical emergencies.

GP and specialists

Useful phone numbers

Here are a few important numbers

  • 112: the European emergency number;

  • 15:  the SAMU (Service d’Aide Médicale Urgente - Emergency Medical Service);

  • 18: the Fire Brigade;

  • 17 : Police

  • And 3624: for a house-call doctor if you are too ill to travel. This service is available 24/7

Useful phone numbers
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Eye medical services 

  • To find a doctors speaking your language : the most widely used website for booking medical appointments is Doctolib. After entering "Ophtalmologue", and your location, you can select a language.

  • To book an appointment quickly : you can visite the Pointvision website (note: the website is in French)

  • To find cheap glasses without appointment : you can visit the Lunettes pour tous website, a low-cost optician,  who makes it possible to find glasses at a low price and available the same day

  • [LYON ONLY] For ophtalmic emergencies : you can go to the Hôpital Édouard Herriot, 5 place d’Arsonval - Pavillon C - 69003 Lyon, 04 72 11 62 33

Eye medical services

Pharmacies in France

Pharmacies in France are generally open from Monday to Saturday from 08:30 to 19:30. At least one local duty pharmacy or on-call pharmacy (pharmacie de garde) will be open on Sundays and public holidays. The list can be found in every pharmacy window, by contacting the local commissariat or calling the 32 37


  • [LYON ONLY] Here is the list of on-call pharmacies : 

    • La Grande Pharmacie Lyonnaise, 22, rue de la République, 69002 Lyon

    • La Pharmacie de Gratte-Ciel, 28 Avenue Henri Barbusse, Villeurbanne

    • La Pharmacie de L'Horloge, 14 Place Vauboin, Tassin-la-Demi-Lune

    • La Pharmacie des Portes du Sud, 49 Boulevard Lénine, Vénissieux

    • La Pharmacie Portes des Alpes, Centre Commercial Auchan, Saint-Priest


Emergency : documents you need

If you admitted to hospital, you will need to have:

  • Your health insurance card (your carte vitale), or;

  • The attestation you will have received confirming your entitlement to health care;

  • Your voluntary insurance policy if you have;

  • Your passport or identity card.


Emergency : Who pay for the care ? 

  • The eligible costs of treatment will be met through your local health authority called Caisse Primaire d'Assurance Maladie (CPAM).

  • If you are a visitor to France, you have to produce your European Health Insurance Card/GHIC or private health insurance policy.

  • If you do not have health cover, and it is an emergency, you will still receive treatment, although you will be responsible for the costs.

  • If you have low income and not legally resident in France, you may be able to make application for assistance under the Aide médicale d'Etat (AME). A condition : you have been living in the country for at least 3 months.

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