France rolls out online payments for doctor's appointments

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
France rolls out online payments for doctor's appointments
The Doctolib app and website is to allow online payments. Photo by Olivier MORIN / AFP

It used to be the case that you needed to remember to take cash with you when you went to the doctor in France - these days most medics accept card payments, and now some will accept online payments instead.


Although healthcare is largely state-funded in France it works on a reimbursement model - which means you pay the doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional upfront and then some or all of the money is reimbursed to you by the state.

This means that you need to remember to have a means of payment with you when you visit the doctor to cover their fee - €26.50 for a standard GP appointment, costs vary for other appointments.

READ ALSO How state-funded healthcare works in France

This used to mean remembering to have some cash with you when you went to your appointment, but these days most (but not all) doctors take card payments.


And now the medical app and website Doctolib has announced the rollout of online payments for medical appointments, meaning that you don't even need to remember to have your wallet/purse with you. 

READ ALSO How to use the French medical site Doctolib

The feature is already available via Doctolib for télémedicine (online) appointments, but is now being expanded to in-person appointments too.

It will be rolled out on a gradual basis, with doctors able to opt in, and will only apply to appointments booked on Doctolib.

When you book an appointment on Doctolib, you can look up the doctor's information to see what payments methods they accept - chèques, espèces (cash) or cartes bancaires (bank cards).

Soon some doctors and other professionals including dentists, midwives and physios will also have the option for paiement en ligne.

The app providers explained to Doctolib that the new system will involve the patient inputting their card details when they book the appointment.

Once the appointment is over, the doctor will 'close' the session, and payment will be taken from the card.

As well as making things more convenient for patients, the new system aims to help doctors to save time and cut the length of their appointments. 

The app payment will be optional, and patients can still pay by cash, cheque or card, depending on what their doctor accepts.



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