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Médecin traitant: choosing your GP

Your GP is the foundation of most of your healthcare and it is much easier to chose one while in good health

YOUR médecin traitant (GP) is the foundation of most of your healthcare and it is much easier to chose one while in good health.

Until recently, the French were used to picking up the Yellow Pages and going to see specialists directly.

However recent reforms placed the médecin traitant as the first port of call and if you go outside this parcours de soins (care pathway), as it is called, your reimbursements are hit.

If you see a doctor hors parcours (outside the pathway) you get 40% less reimbursement for a consultation or treatment costing €25 or less.

It is easy to choose or change a médecin traitant. You do not need to see a doctor especially to do this.

During a consultation with the doctor you want to be your médecin traitant, tell them your wish and you will fill out a form together.

You are in the parcours from that consultation as long as you send the form back quickly to your state health insurance body (eg. Cpam).

If you want to change GPs, you only have to repeat the process with the new one.

If your GP is on holiday, their designated replacement doctor or another member of the same surgery is acceptable and if you are away from home you are also dispensed from going via them.

The same applies to emergencies. The doctor should note the reason for your consulting them and not the GP on the forms they fill in at your consultation.

Going to your médecin traitant is not necessary for children under 16 and you do not need to go via them for certain services and under certain circumstances, including a number of common gynaecological procedures; seeing an ophthalmologist for glasses or contact lenses or for glaucoma; a psychiatrist if you are aged 16-25 or a dentist.

You cannot have a médecin traitant if you are not a permanent French resident.

You can find your nearest on and click on Accéder au service under the Adresses & Tarifs des professionnels de santé section on the front page.

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