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Do you need to take your own towels for a hospital stay in France?

The items and services offered by French hospitals can vary - we look at the basics

We look at items and documents you should bring for a stay in a French hospital Pic: Inside Creative House / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have to go into hospital for a hip replacement operation and a neighbour says I should remember to take towels. Is this correct – and is there anything else special like that that I should take? 

French hospitals generally expect you to bring your own towel(s), although some do supply them. 

You are also expected to bring toiletries. 

You should also, obviously, pack nightwear (several changes, if necessary, as not all hospitals have a patient laundry service), a dressing gown and slippers, as well as contact lenses, glasses or hearing aid/s as appropriate. 

You should avoid bringing in valuables including jewellery. 

Pack personal documents, such as your carte Vitale and mutuelle card, livret de famille and passport or identity card. 

You should also bring any medicines you are taking (along with recent prescriptions relating to them), X-rays, scans and blood test results connected with your medical condition and your blood group card. 

Each hospital varies in its services so, if you are unsure, call for advice or see their website. 

On arrival, they will also supply a livret d’accueil (welcome booklet) with patient information which, in some cases, is also available on the internet.

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How do French healthcare costs change for long-term illnesses?

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