Finding English-speaking doctors in France

What do I do if I need to see a doctor about the virus or another illness? How does telemedicine (online consultations) work? How can I find an English-speaking doctor if I speak French but would feel more comfortable speaking to someone in English?

23 March 2020
By Connexion journalist

If you have an illness or non-serious Covid-19 symptoms you should contact your GP first and see whether you can talk by telephone or video link wherever possible. Do not visit but call to limit spreading the virus. 

If your GP does not practise telemedicine you can contact another doctor who does.

Previously you could only be reimbursed if you had a telemedicine consultation with your own GP who had already seen you physically.

Those rules have been relaxed so you can contact another doctor and you will be reimbursed 100% by the social security.

For those who feel worried about speaking French in this type of situation you can find an English-speaking doctor via the online appointment website Doctolib, where you can select doctors according to their language skills.

Doctolib has massively increased the number of its doctors who can consult via telemedicine using their own software.

Before the Covid-19 crisis there were 3,500. Today there are 80,000. If you use its system you choose an appointment to suit you.

Ten minutes before the appointment you will receive an email directing you to a link where by using your computer with its own integrated camera you will be able to see and speak to the doctor.

Vast majority of laptops have cameras - but desk tops don't tend to have them, so you need a separate webcam for them.

The GP will be able to send you a prescription and you will be able to pay via the same link which Doctolib says is secure to Ministry of Health standards and better than receiving a prescription by email.

For doctors not signed up to Doctolib they have the choice of other specific softwares designed for telemedicine consultations, so they do not have to resort to public platforms like Skype and WhatsApp, and you should check with your doctor first to see if he or she has signed up to one since the start of the epidemic, as many of them have.

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