Every five years, people in France who are part of the state healthcare system are entitled to a free check-up. We explain how to set one up.
The service is available to those who benefit from la Sécurité sociale or MSA (mutuelle sociale agricole). This means anyone who is part of the state healthcare system.
Often known as a ‘check-up santé’, the full name is an ‘EPS (examen de prévention en santé)’ in French (and it was previously known as a bilan de santé gratuit).
This means that it is intended to be a ‘preventative’ health check, to ensure an overall good level of health, and identify any possible issues before they become a bigger problem.
Why should I get a health check?
An EPS brings in expertise from nurses, doctors, and dentists, to offer an overall health ‘MOT’. Depending on your needs, you may have examinations, tests, and be offered preventative care tips.
However, EPS doctors will not offer any treatment or prescriptions. With your permission, they will forward your results to your GP, who will be able to prescribe treatment if needed.
You will also receive your results in the post.
What examinations are included?
Tests and examinations will include:
- Blood pressure check
- General blood test
- Vision and hearing tests
Depending on your age and risk factors, you may also include extra tests like an electrocardiogram, urine analysis, or other tests (such as for breast, uterus, or colon cancer).
You may also be offered a vaccination booster.
How do I make an appointment for a free health check?
Contact your local Assurance Maladie office, or the closest examination centre near you. You may also receive an invitation for a test, depending on your age.
The free tests are done at 85 centres d’examens de santé across the country.
Are there any other health tests available for free in France?
Yes, depending on your age.
- Young people age 3-24: Teeth check-up every three years called ‘M’T Dents (love your teeth)’, by the Assurance maladie. Any orthodontic work needed is not free, however.
- Young people age 11-13 and 15-16: Medical check-up permitted, covered by the Assurance maladie.
- University students: Free, confidential check at their university’s preventative healthcare centre service. This also includes an STI test and vaccination booster; and can include a psychologist check too.
- Workers aged 50+: People who pay contributions to the Agirc-Arrco pension fund can get a preventative health check by a doctor and psychologist.
- Women aged 50 to 74: Breast cancer screening (if you are not in an at-risk category, and do not have any symptoms) every two years. You should receive a letter inviting you to a screening.
- People aged 50-74: Colon cancer screening every two years. Again, you should receive a letter inviting you every two years, if you are not in a high-risk category or have symptoms.
- Women aged 25-29: Cervical cancer screening, depending on age and risk factors.
- Women aged 30-65: HPV tests every five years.
Read also: Breast cancer: Who can get free screenings in France?
Read also: France makes condoms free for people aged 18-25
It comes after the Health Minister François Braun also said that free medical check-ups are to be routinely offered to people in France at the “three key ages of” 25, 45, and 65.
The health minister did not say how these check-ups will be arranged but it is likely that people will receive a letter from Assurance Maladie inviting them to book an appointment when they hit the relevant age.
The start date of the new scheme has yet to be announced.
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