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Hi,

I moved to Paris from the UK almost four months ago, and am working as an English teacher here (and paying social charges through my salary accordingly). I have yet to sort out applying for a carte vitale etc, as I am always working at the times the office is open. I need to take a day off at some point and go and sort it out, but I hear that the process of getting the card can be lengthy...

I'm looking for some advice about getting a prescription for the contraceptive pill. I used to take this in the past, but stopped a few years ago. Now, for various reasons, I'd like to start taking it again.

So, I have a few questions:

1. Can I get a prescription for the pill from a "normal" (ie non specialist) GP in Paris? I've got a list of English-speaking doctors here (necessary for me at this stage), and while some of them are listed as GPs, others are down as gynacologists and I don't know whether it's standard practice here to go to the latter for a prescription for the contraceptive pill...

2. Will I be able to make an appointment and get a prescription without yet having the Carte Vitale? Will I have to pay tons of money if I do it this way round? I do have my EHIC but I don't know what difference this makes in terms of costs/access to treatment.

3. Depending on what the answers to the above questions may be, I'm in half a mind to wait until Christmas when I go back to the UK for a few weeks, and get a prescription from my doctor there, who I am still registered with. But if I've already applied for my Carte Vitale by then, I don't know if this will somehow register in the UK so that I'm effectively kicked out of the NHS system and have to get all my treatment in France?

Any advice, particularly re: the first two questions would be much appreciated. I've tried to do online research around this, but it's a minefield out there...
 

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If you're paying social charges through your employer, the employer should have put in for a carte vitale for you. (They are required to report you within the first 2 days that you're on the payroll.) Getting a carte vitale should not be a huge hassle (however, no administrative process in France should be a hassle, and they all seem to be).

1. You should be able to get a prescription from either a GP or a gyne. Advantage with a GP is that many of them have open office hours where you can just go in without an appointment and wait your turn.

2. You may not need to make an appointment (see #1), but there's no need for the carte vitale to go see a doctor. France is a reimbursement system - you pay the doctor and then get reimbursed. Use your EHIC card and the reimbursement comes from the UK system. With the carte vitale, it comes from the French system. In any event, a GP appointment/visit will cost you 22€ (as long as you go with a medecin agréé - i.e. who sticks to the sécu fee schedule). If you go to a specialist (i.e. a gyne), it should cost you 27€.

3. I'd be surprised if the two systems manage to synchronize this closely. But I'd get on your employer about your carte vitale. If they are saying you have to apply for it yourself, then just take the time off and do it. Heck, when I started working here, I WAS the HR department, filed my own papers (nowadays you do it all online) and had my carte vitale within a month.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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