We were about 80 miles outside Paris, in the little medieval town of Provins, when I realized I was sick.
We cut our visit to Provins short, so I could get back to Paris to seek medical attention.
This was not a big deal except that it was the afternoon of July 13, and the next day was a national holiday — Bastille Day.
I telephoned a pharmacy near our hotel, and the pharmacist gave me the name of a local doctor that sees patients on a walk-in basis.
The doctor’s office was in a typical Haussmannian apartment building near Place Victor Hugo in the 16th arrondissement. The building had wooden doors large enough for a horse and carriage to enter. There was a small brass plate on the door. We rang the bell and the doctor buzzed us in. It was 6:59 p.m.
We entered the doctor’s suite and ventured down a curved hallway to the waiting room. Several other patents were waiting, holding their French national health insurance cards. There was no receptionist and no nurse. At 7:45 p.m., the doctor called me in, the last patient of the day. He gave me a prescription which I was able to fill in the neighborhood pharmacy before everything closed for the holiday.
The cost of the doctor visit: 35 Euro, payable with a credit card. The medicine cost 7.50 Euro.
This is a bit less than the copay for an urgent care visit at my HMO.
If You Need to See a Doctor in Paris
Asking a pharmacist to recommend a doctor is a good first step. Many doctors in Paris see patients without appointments. If the pharmacy is closed, they often post information about another nearby pharmacy with extended hours.
In researching this post, I came across couple of resources that may be of some help:
- A list of English-speaking French doctors circulated by the American Embassy.
- A blog post by Paris Cheapskate on walk-in clinics.
Reste en bonne santé!