How can Ukrainians use medical services in France?
Ukrainians who arrived in France after February 24, 2022, can get medical insurance and use the services of many doctors for free. The Ministry of Health explained how to make an appointment with specialists of a narrow profile, call an ambulance and get medicine on the territory of France.
How can refugees from Ukraine receive medical care in France?
Ukrainians who have received the status of temporary protection in the country are entitled to Assurance Maladie insurance within the framework of the universal health care system (Puma) and supplementary solidarity health insurance (CSS) for 12 months. This type of insurance covers all medical expenses. Glasses, hearing aids, dentures, medical equipment can be purchased with insurance. Expenses for medical and psychological assistance are also reimbursed.
Refugees from Ukraine do not pay for medical services at their own expense. These expenses are taken by the state insurance fund. However, when making an appointment with a doctor, you should check the principle of payment of the specialist's work - "secteur". This especially applies to specialists of a narrow profile. Doctors from "secteur 1" provide their services at fixed rates. The insurance fund pays for them. Doctors from "secteur 2" independently set price tags for services.
Registration of insurance
To get health insurance, Ukrainians who entered France after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine must have a document certifying the status of temporary protection. You can get it at the prefecture. You can usually find a representative of an organization that deals with health insurance there. The document will arrive at the specified postal address within a week after registration.
It is important to take your insurance policy with you every time you visit doctors. In some clinics, it is also necessary to present a form of temporary residence.
Call an ambulance
The pan-European emergency number is 112.
People with hearing impairments can send an SMS to the number 114. In response, the patient will receive a message with the contacts of the required service.
SAMU (Service d’Aide Médicale d’Urgence) is available at number 15 and is used for emergencies such as heart attacks.
Police and firefighters can also provide emergency assistance. They are available at numbers 17 and 18.
What services can you count on without insurance?
An insurance policy and a certificate of temporary shelter are not required to receive emergency assistance. For this, you should contact the nearest state hospital. You only need to have an identity document with you.
The international organizations Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross also provide medical services without insurance in emergencies.
As the Ministry of Health emphasizes, medicines in France are mainly available by prescription. A person who has recently entered the territory of the country and does not have an insurance policy can get a prescription for the necessary medicines at Red Cross points. Usually, representatives of this organization can be found in centers of assistance to refugees from Ukraine. They can also advise you in case of questions and write a prescription for the necessary medicines. According to this prescription, drugs should be dispensed free of charge, but in practice not all pharmacies follow this rule.
Patients with difficult and rare diagnoses can receive medical services in France free of charge.
Which services are available under the insurance policy and which are not?
The insurance covers the costs of:
• Medical examination, treatment, medications;
• Dental services, including crowns and fillings;
• Psychological and medical assistance;
• Hearing aids and devices.
Vision lenses are paid for by insurance only in cases of myopia equal to or greater than 8 diopters, incorrect astigmatism, accommodative strabismus, aphakia, anisometropia in 3 diopters.
People who have reached the age of 16 and are included in the state social insurance system can undergo a preventive examination every five years at one of 88 local examination centers.
Consultations of doctors who are not recognized by health insurance are paid by the patient. These specialists include nutritionists, osteopaths, etc. Also, the insurance policy does not cover the costs of implants, braces and vinyls. At the same time, children under the age of 16 have the right to get braces for free. For this, you need to make a separate appointment with an orthodontist and get a referral.
Which specialists can be contacted directly?
A referral is not required if you are seeking urgent care and consultations at:
• Family doctor;
• Psychiatrist and neuropsychiatrist for people aged 16 and over.
To visit the rest of the doctors, pass tests and undergo an examination, you need to contact a general practitioner. In order to receive a referral, it is not even necessary to conclude a contract with a doctor.
Make an appointment
French doctors work in public hospitals or medical centers, or run a private practice. Firstly, you need to choose a general practitioner and a pediatrician. You can make a contract with him so that he becomes a treating doctor.
The patient is not obliged to consult only one general practitioner, but this guarantees that the patient will be able to get to the chosen specialist even if there is a long queue. You can sign up at the institution's registry office, by phone or online.
How is the reception, and what do you need to have with you?
When receiving a patient for the first time, a general practitioner asks about health problems, directs the necessary tests and palpates the patient's breast. Based on the complaints, the doctor can prescribe tests and research. According to the results, further treatment is prescribed or a referral to a narrow-profile specialist is prescribed. The doctor can recommend who exactly or which medical center it is better to contact, but not indicate this information in the direction.
At the first appointment, the optometrist checks the vision, asks the reason for the visit and health complaints. He writes a prescription for glasses or contact lenses and, if necessary, prescribes treatment. The dentist determines your problems and the procedures necessary to eliminate them.
Be sure to bring the direction as needed and insurance. You will need to provide your address and phone number.
The Ministry of Health also noted that specialist secretaries may not speak other languages than French.
Once you have arrived in France and received all the necessary documents, ask your general practitioner, midwife or doctor for a prescription. The director or deputy director of the laboratory can give prescriptions within the framework of professional capabilities. The dosage and duration of administration or the number of pieces in the package must be prescribed in the prescription.
To get medicine for free, bring your insurance policy and prescription with you to the pharmacy.
You can receive compensation for drugs subject to reimbursement under the social security line. The amount of compensation is determined by the category of the drug.
According to the Ministry of Health, the larger the size, the more expensive and effective the medicine. Details about the effect of the drugs, their cost and the amount of compensation can be found here.
Currently, most medicines for refugees from Ukraine are free. Only some additional vitamins need to be paid for.
Health insurance also covers the costs of:
• Blood sugar control strips;
• Vaccines against coronavirus;
• Wigs for patients who have lost their own hair due to illness or treatment;
• Medical insemination for single women, heterosexual and lesbian couples.
So, an insurance policy is a guarantor of your safety and peaceful stay outside of Ukraine. To protect yourself from troubles abroad and to be calm for yourself and your loved ones, Visit Ukraine recommends taking out medical insurance in advance.
Useful contacts for Ukrainian refugees in France
• The list of medical professionals is published on the website ameli.fr.
• The website www.fncs.org contains the addresses of all medical centers in France.
• Video consultations with a doctor can be obtained on the website qare.fr (before the appointment, you must specify the insurance number).
• There is a section for Ukrainians on doctorlib, which describes how to find a Ukrainian-speaking specialist or use the service without knowing the language (there is no translation of the site and application into Ukrainian).
"You can also ask for advice about a doctor who speaks your language directly from the social workers assigned to you", - the Ministry of Health emphasizes.
• In large cities, volunteers can help with collecting information about such specialists (you can ask in the volunteer chats on Telegram, WhatsApp or Facebook).
• You can view the list of doctors who speak English using the link.
The Ministry of Health advises you to prepare French expressions that you may need to explain the purpose of the visit.
The questionnaire that must be filled out before seeing some doctors is usually only in French. But sometimes during an appointment with a doctor, you can get access to it online - so you can fill it out in advance and take the document with you.
1 minFor refugees
The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.