One of the best ways of enjoying your trip to Paris is to be as prepared for the unexpected as you can. When you imagine your trip, it's with happy, healthy faces enjoying the sites and sounds and tastes. But life happens and with a little preparation, it shouldn't side track your fun.
If you take prescription medicine, be sure to call your insurance company to make sure you can get what is referred to as a "vacation dose". Since most prescriptions can't be filled ahead of time, you'll need this permission.
Another precaution to take is to get a back up written copy of your prescription. Depending on the medication, you may have to schedule an appointment with the doctor to get it. Be sure to do this in plenty of time. And if you need to fill it, be prepared for sticker shock as pharmaceutical prices are controlled by the French government and so are priced more like our generic drugs.
When you pack, be sure to keep your medicines with you on the plane, in case you get separated from your baggage for a period of time. Be sure to keep them in the bag you keep with you in the seat during the flight so you won't have to crawl over sleeping people to rummage around for it in the dark overhead bins for it. There's nothing worse than a mounting migraine and realizing you can't get to the medicine.
Be sure to bring any over the counter medicines you take regularly, such as allergy medicines. Things like ibuprofen or acetaminophen is readily available but at the pharmacy only. OTC drugs are handled differently in France and are only available from a pharmacist.
But Pharmacies are all over the place, and easy to find - Big green neon cross. Another special feature is that some pharmacies are also carry homeopathic remedies and some are herbalists. This will be indicated below the word Pharmacie. Pharmacists are also trained to give a really high level of personal service so expect a "consultation" from them if you need one. But be patient if you need to wait n line for them. It's the French way.
If you are a resident of the European Commonwealth, you can see doctors with the pretty much the same coverage of home. However, if you are a resident of somewhere else, you will need health insurance. Even with a policy, you need to be prepared to pay for expenses out of pocket and then get reimbursed. That's how it works for residents too.
You should call your insurance company to see what, if any, their coverage is in France. Many insurance policies do not have provisions for health care outside of their country. If they do, it will be considered "out of network."
In that case, you may want to buy an international health insurance policy. There are many to choose from, just be sure you understand the coverage you get. Some people simply get catastrophic coverage, in case you need to be flown home to be treated. Seeing a doctor or filling a prescription generally less expensive than in the States.
A NOTE ABOUT THE YELLOW PAGES
The site I've included is very much like the Yellow Pages here in the States. You fill in the form:
"Quoi, Qui (what, who)" - type: Medecin - the drop down will show you the options
"Ou (where)" - type: Paris
#6 What to pack
Health Insurance Resources
Finding A Doctor
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