Practical Information

Practical Information

Getting into the French health care system L’Assurance Maladie, general information in French. Find your local office.

Top up Insurance

Not all insurance companies ‘Mutuelle’ or ‘Complementaire’ take on people affected by cancer. You will need to shop around for the best cover. If you need a new prosthesis annually, make sure it is included in the contract.

Travel Insurance

Make sure you have cover! Treatment abroad may be expensive.

If you are travelling from the UK to France make sure you have adequate travel insurance as well as your EHIC card. If you live in France the card is referred to as ‘la carte européenne’. It is available free once you have your ‘Carte-Vitale’. It is only valid for 12 months, so remember to renew in time if you already have one. It takes about two weeks to come through. You can apply for it online via the link above or at your local CPAM office unless your health insurance cover is arranged through your business insurance. - This is an excellent link from the Macmillan website which explains how travel insurance works. The article provides a link to companies that help arrange insurance for people affected by cancer.

If you are over state retirement age, your EHIC is issued by that country.  For the UK, you will find details here:


I need help - problems with finding insurance and loans - This link gives access to organisations that help with questions of insurance, and loans. The web page provides their websites, and helplines. Although French, some of their members are English speakers. It is therefore worth asking. If you are not sure about doing so, see whether a member of your local CSF team could help.

This link provides access to legal advice on your rights as a patient.

There are three important organisations listed on this page

(a) Santé Info Droits ( health information rights) The teams who answer calls here are legal specialists.

(b) Droits des malades info (patients rights information) It is available to patients, their families and health professionals and helps to defend their rights in the health system.

(c) La Ligue - if you need to contact a lawyer, this line gives you access to La Ligue's legal help desk.

The Cancerinfo help-line is staffed by people who will help you find the right contacts according to your need.

Lifestyle and Diet - Royal Marsden Hospital. Good information here on diet and keeping healthy - American Institute for Cancer research. This website provides the latest American research specifically related to nutrition and cancer. Booklets are available to download. A regular newsletter can be subscribed to and weekly healthy recipes can be asked for. - Specialises in headscarves for people who have lost their hair.Some of the profits from sales will be donated to cancer charities in recognition of the care given to the founders daughter. This link takes you to an online shop.

Death & Dying - Dying Matters is a coalition of individual and organisational members across England and Wales, which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.

Need someone to chat with?

We have created our own chat room where you can share your own experiences, read about other people’s experiences, ask for information or just chat. Click here to go to our forum .

The information provided on this page is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.


Last updated: April 24th 2019