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Medical Tourism to France

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Medical tourism is still a developing industry in France, primarily because it has not yet been fully promoted by the French government or hospitals. Nonetheless, France has seen a steady increase of medical tourism over the past few years, primary from the Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Given the high quality of care, and France’s appeal as a tourism destination, it is safe to presume that medical tourism in France will soon become a prosperous industry.

The Healthcare System in France


France’s health care system has been ranked as one of the world’s top ranking countries, at times taking the number one spot. The country follows strict regulatory guidelines and has a public independent regulatory authority (HAS - Haute Autorité de Santé) that monitors and provides accreditation of health care products and facilities.

There are 3 types of hospitals in the French healthcare system: public, private not-for-profit hospitals, and for-profit hospitals. There are 983 public and 1801 private hospitals.

Public hospitals are legally and financially independent, though they are under state supervision. 1.9 million people work in the French healthcare and social services sector, including 59,010 doctors. Most employees speak fluent English and many hospitals offer patients a free interpreter service.

European citizens can access healthcare at a reduced cost or even sometimes for free thanks to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This can be accessed in any public hospital and in some private ones. Non-EEA nationals are not covered in France and must utilize their own health insurance from their home countries.

Top Ranking Hospitals in France [4]

Common Treatments Done by Medical Tourists in France

France offers a wide array of high quality medical treatments and procedures. The more popular treatments for medical tourists include:

Cost of Medical Treatments in France


The following are cost comparisons between Medical procedures in France and equivalent procedures in the UK. Medical tourists travelling from the UK can expect to save from 5% up to 75% on medical procedures. 
Medical Procedures
Procedure UK France Average Savings
Knee Arthroscopy €6,400 - €6,900 €3,600 - €4,000 40% - 45%
Hip Replacement (With Implant and Rehabilitation) €11,800 - €12,300 €11,000 - €11,500 5% - 10%
Meniscus Repair €18,200 - €18,500 €4,700 - €5,000 70% - 75%
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Procedure UK France Average Savings
Breast Augmentation (Mammoplasty) €5,500 - €6,000 €3,300 - €3,800 35% - 40%
Breast Lift €7,000 - €7,700 €3,000 - €3,500 54% - 57%
Tummy Tuck €6,900 - €7,300 €3,000 - €3,300 54% - 56%
Nose Surgery (Rhinoplasty) €4,500 - €5,200 €3,000 - €3,400 30% - 35%
Otoplasty (Both Ears) €3,800 - €4,200 €2,200 - €2,800 33% - 42%
Face Lift (rhytidectomy) €6,500 - €7,200 €3,900 - €4,300 40% - 45%
Eyelid Surgery €4,200 - €4,500 €2,400 - €2,800 37% - 42%
Bariatric surgery
Procedure UK  France Average Savings
Gastric Banding €10,000 - €11,000 €5,200 - €6,400 41% - 48%
Gastric Balloon €7,000 - €8,000 €6,000 - €6,500 14% - 19%
Dental & Eye Surgery
Procedure UK France Average Savings
Dental Implants €3,400 - €3,800 €2,000 - €2,100 40% - 45%
Lasik Femtosecond (Per Eye) €2,900 - €3,200 €1,400 - €2,200 31% - 51%

Malpractice and Liability Laws in France

An independent medical board called Conseil National de l’Ordre des Médecins (or CNOM) acts as the safeguard of French medical ethics and has the power to give sanctions to medical practitioners and surgeons. This board also provides compensation through a national fund to patients who have been victims of malpractice.

In France, the practitioner is not liable for failing to cure a patient. However, the practitioner has be able to prove that they have tried every possible way to cure the patient and ease their pain[7]

The complete French code of medical ethics (in English) can be read or downloaded here.


  • No waiting

    In private clinics there are no waiting lists, you just need to book a week ahead.
  • No hidden cost

    The patient and the doctor settle on a price and by law must sign a contract before surgery.
  • No language barrier

    Most medical clinics provide their clients with an interpreter for free.
  • Extra savings for European Union citizens

    EU citizens with a European health card (EHIC) can be reimbursed up to 80% of the total cost of some medical procedures.
  • Excellence

    French surgeons undergo an extensive medical training of eleven years, French hospitals are among the most modern ones and their clients can benefit from the latest techniques.


  • Prices

    Prices of medical procedures are higher in comparison to medical tourism destinations in Asia and Eastern Europe
  • Complicated paperwork

    The French administrative system can be rather tricky. No reimbursement can be issued if paperwork is not filed properly.
  • Cost of living

    Accommodation and food can be pricey, particularly in Paris and big cities.

Traveling to France

Several low-cost companies offer very affordable flights to France and each major city has its own airport.
La SNCF, the French railway company, provides direct trains from many European countries.

Average estimated travel time in hours [8]

From/To France
Moscow 3
New York 8
Los Angeles 12
London 1
Casablanca 3
UAE (Dubai) 7

Entry and Exit Requirements to France [9]

EU Citizens

European citizens do not need a visa to enter France as long as they can prove their nationality by producing a passport or a national identity card.

US citizens

U.S. citizens enter France for up to 3 months without a visa. However, they must be able to produce a current U.S. passport with a minimum validity of six months.

Other Nationalities

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, as a general rule, a visa is required for entry and must be obtained in your country of residence before your departure. For further information, please contact the French embassy in your country.

Statistics of Medical Tourism in France

There is currently limited data on French medical tourism. Nonetheless, there is a growing number of patients primarily from MENA that travel to the country to seek treatment in Paris and other French cities.

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