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Can I ask a foreign GP for a French sports certificate?

Joining a sports club in France will often require asking a doctor for a medical certificate. We look at whether this can be done in your home country

You can get a French-recognised sports certificate from a foreign doctor, or apply for one online, plus they don’t have to be written in French Pic: goodluz / Shutterstock

Reader question: A local walking group is requesting a medical certificate. I have a second home in France. Is it possible to ask a British GP for such a document?

When a sports club requires members to present a medical certificate, this can be issued by a foreign doctor. 

This is fairly common, as even visitors who wish to take part in competitions such as the Paris Marathon require a medical certificate. 

Most GPs will charge for this. 

UK-based tour operator for cycling and running events Sports Tours International said it has heard figures of up to £150 and not all doctors will complete the certificate. 

If not, they suggest getting online certificates from sites such as Sports Medical Certificates, which they say are accepted in France. 

The certificate does not need to be in French, according to doctors’ body, the Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins. 

In a letter to the sports minister in 2007, the body’s president wrote: “Strictly from the Order’s point of view, the certificate has no requirements to meet in terms of the format (…) or the language it is written in. 

The only requirements for the Order are that the first and last name and professional address of the doctor appear clearly on the document.” 

It should state there is ‘no contraindication’ to your participating in the sport.

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- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
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