Home Healthcare Healthcare Services Hospitals in France
Last update on June 04, 2021

This guide to hospitals in France lists the major hospitals in Paris and other major cities, as well explains what you need to visit a French hospital or in an emergency.

If you need to access French healthcare services or are seeking emergency help in France, you will be assured to know that French hospitals and medical facilities are among the best in the world. There are around 1,400 hospitals in France.

COVID-19 in France

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. Many expats find themselves separated from family and loved ones in their home countries. As a foreigner, it is also sometimes difficult to find critical information regarding coronavirus infection rates, local measures and restrictions, and now, thankfully, vaccinations.

  • For general coronavirus information in France, including vaccination schedules and the latest restrictions, visit the official Coronavirus (COVID-19) website
  • For dedicated information on how the COVID-19 pandemic affects foreign nationals living in France, visit the French government’s COVID-19 diplomatic website

The healthcare system in France is highly accessible, even for foreigners, although you will be typically asked to show certain documents when visiting French hospitals. Foreigners living in France are required to show proof of their French health insurance, which is compulsory. For those visiting temporarily, citizens from the European Economic Area (EEA – European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) and Switzerland can visit a French hospital using their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), while non-EU visitors may be required to show proof of medical insurance, which is typically a requirement for getting a French visa.

Major French hospitals in France and Paris

This guide explains what you need to know before& going to a hospital in France, as well as lists some of the best hospitals in Paris and the best hospitals in France, including hospitals in Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes, and Montpellier.

French hospitals

Hospital in French is hôpital or, more commonly, centre hospitalier. French hospitals can be found in the main French cities and bigger towns by following signs saying ‘CHR’ (regional hospitals), ‘CHS’ (specialist hospitals) or ‘CHU’ (university hospitals).

There are two types of hospitals in France: state-run hôpitaux and privately run cliniques privées. Some private cliniques are state-approved and work for the national health service, so your doctor (médecin traitant) may refer you to either a state hospital or private clinic.

Up to 70% of hospital charges are reimbursed by the French health insurance scheme (Couverture Maladie Universelle or CMU) but costs for board and lodging of your hospital stay are not, which is where French private health insurance or supplementary insurance can be used to cover full costs.

Unlike most countries, patients are able to go directly to specialists without prior referral from a French doctor; those seeking immediate special care can expect to receive it quicker. Read Exaptica’s guide on how to register with French doctors.

Not all hospitals in France, however, have emergency facilities; in some cases, rather than looking for the best hospitals in Paris or the best hospitals in France, you will instead need to check whether the hospital or clinic can offer the services you need.

While there are several hospitals in Paris with English-speaking staff, this is not always the case for the rest of France. Some medical staff will have at least basic conversational skills otherwise bring a companion fluent in French if language could be a problem. You can also find an extensive list of French medical terms to help when visiting hospitals in France.

Visiting hospitals in France: what you need

After being admitted to a French hospital, you will need to show proof of your health insurance card (carte vitale), and you may be asked to show a notice certifying you are entitled to public healthcare (attestation). You should bring proof of private health insurance if applicable, your CMU-Complémentaire (CMU-C) for those with low income, or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

The costs of emergency treatments in hospitals in Paris and hospitals in France are mostly covered by the French health authority but you will typically need to pay any outstanding balances upfront. You will be given a feuille de soins, which states what treatment was carried out and, if applicable, an ordonnance (prescription) when you are discharged from a French hospital. It is important to keep both documents and you will need them to claim reimbursement. You will be duly reimbursed any fees owed by the government at a later date.

Insurance for hospital treatment in France

If you don’t have public health coverage or want to opt for a higher level of coverage for medical treatment, you can choose private insurance. There are a number of expat-friendly international health insurance firms operating in France, including:

Best hospitals in Paris

Individuals without health insurance in France who seek emergency healthcare in a French hospital legally cannot be denied medical services but must shoulder the financial burden. Healthcare costs in France, however, are considerably lower than in some other countries, for example, the United States.

Best hospitals in Paris and best hospitals in France

To find the best hospitals in Paris or the best hospitals in France, you can ask for recommendations on Expatica’s free Ask the Expert service or review:

In 2016, Le Point ranked the University Hospital of Bordeaux as the best hospital in France, followed by CHU Lille, CHU Toulouse, Strasbourg University Hospitals, and Pitié-Salpêtrière, also the best hospital in Paris. In a survey published by Forbes, the American Hospital of Paris was ranked not only as one of the best hospitals in Paris and France, but also the world.

Hospitals in Paris

Hospitals in Lyon

  • Hôpital Edouard Herriot: 5 Place d’Arsonval, 69003 Lyon | chu-lyon.fr
  • Center Léon Bérard: 28 Prom. Léa et Napoléon Bullukian, 69008 Lyon | centreleonberard.fr
  • Hospital Center Saint Joseph-Saint Luc: 20 Quai Claude Bernard, 69007 Lyon | ch-stjoseph-stluc-lyon.fr
  • Hôpital Louis Pradel: 28 Avenue du Doyen Jean Lépine, 69500 Bron | chircardio-lyon.org
  • Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse: 103 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse, 69004 Lyon | chu-lyon.fr
  • Hôpital Renée Sabran: Boulevard Edouard Herriot, 83406 Giens-Hyères | chu-lyon.fr
  • Hôpital Henry Gabrielle: 20 Route de Vourles 69230, Saint Genis Laval | chu-lyon.fr
  • Hôpital Pierre Wertheimer: 59 Boulevard Pinel 69500 Bron | chu-lyon.fr

Hospitals in Nice

Hospitals in Marseille

Hospitals in Toulouse

  • Group Hospitalier Rangueil: 1 Avenue de Professeur Jean Poulhès, 31403 Toulouse | www.chu-toulouse.fr
  • Hôpital la Grave: 7 Place Lange, 31059 Toulouse | chu-toulouse.fr
  • Hôpital des Enfants: Place Lange, 31059 Toulouse | chu-toulouse.fr
  • Hôpital Joseph Ducuing: 15 Rue Varsovie, 31300 Toulouse | hjd.asso.fr
  • Hôpital Purpan: Place du Docteur Baylac, 31059 Toulouse | chu-toulouse.fr
  • Hôpital Paule de Viguier: 330 Avenue de Grande-Bretagne, 31300 Toulouse | chu-toulouse.fr

Hospitals in Bordeaux

  • Hospitalier Pellegrin: Place Amélie Raba Léon, 33076 Bordeaux | chu-bordeaux.fr
  • Hôpital Charles Perrens: 121 Rue de la Bechade, 33076 Bordeaux | ch-perrens.fr
  • Hôpital Saint-André: 1 Rue Jean Burguet, 33000 Bordeaux | chu-bordeaux.fr

Hospitals in Cannes

  • Hopital de Cannes/Centre Hospitalier de Cannes: 15 Avenue des Broussailles, 06414 Cannes | www.ch-cannes.fr
  • Polyclinique Oxford (Private Hospital Cannes Oxford): 33 Boulevard d’Oxford, 06400 Cannes | www.polyclinique-oxford.fr (private A&E)

Hospitals in Lille

  • Centre Hospitalier Regional (CHRU): 2 Avenue Oscar Lambret, 59000 Lille | chru-lille.fr
  • Hôpital Roger Salengro: Rue Emile Laine, 59037 Lille, France | chru-lille.fr
  • Hôpital Saint-Vincent de Paul: Boulevard de Belfort, 59000 Lille, France | ghicl.fr

Hospitals in Strasbourg

Hospitals in Rennes

  • Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Rennes: 2 Rue Henri le Guilloux, 35000 Rennes | chu-rennes.fr
  • Hôtel Dieu: 2 Rue Hôtel Dieu, 35000 Rennes | chu-rennes.fr
  • Hôpital Sud: 16 Boulevard de Bulgarie, 35200 Rennes | chu-rennes.fr

Hospitals in Montpellier

  • Hôpital Saint Eloi: 80 Avenue Augustin Fliche, 34090 Montpellier | chu-montpellier.fr
  • Hôpital Arnaud-de-Villeneuve: 191 Avenue Doyen Gaston Giraud, 34295 Montpellier | chu-montpellier.fr

Hospitals in St Tropez

Emergencies in France

If you need emergency treatment at a French hospital, you will typically be required to show your carte vitale or proof of medical insurance, although all hospitals in France are legally bound to not refuse patients who can’t pay for emergency services upfront.

  • For all emergencies, dial 112 (or 114 for hearing assistance)
  • For an ambulance, dial 15
  • For the police, dial 17
  • For the fire brigade, dial 18.

See a complete list of French emergency numbers.