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France Facts: The government might pay for your spa days

The Local France
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France Facts: The government might pay for your spa days
Photo: AFP

The French healthcare system is acknowledged as one of the best in the world, but did you know that in some circumstances the French government will even reimburse spa days?


If life is getting a bit much, you may fancy a relaxing day at the spa to ease all your cares away - but wouldn't it be even better if the government would pay for it?

Well, in certain circumstances the French government will.

But before you rush off to book a day in the steam bath with a mani/pedi treatment, you should know that there are some limits to the government's generosity.

Firstly, you need to claim the reimbursement through your carte vitale, so you will obviously need to be registered within the French healthcare system first, either as a worker in France paying in to the system or as a pensioner through the S1 system.

READ ALSO How to get a carte vitale in France and why you need one

Secondly you can't just decide to skip work and head straight to the spa, you will need a prescription for a cure thermal (spa treatment) from a doctor, so you will need to convince them of your need first.

And thirdly you will need to be suffering from one of the 12 conditions that the French system recognises as being treatable by spa treatments. Sadly 'feeling a bit tired and fed up with the winter weather' is not one of these, but digestive disorders, skin conditions, gynecological issues and rheumatism are all on the list.

For some of the other surprising things that the French government might reimburse you for - click here.



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