French Medical System : An overview of Parisian Hospitals

Paris Attitude
| | Read : 8 min

The French healthcare system is known to be one of the best in the world. And if French people are prompt to criticize it (it’s a “national sport”!), they defend it all the same.

Paris and France in general also have a reputation of excellence when it comes to medical care in many specialties as well as a long tradition of high quality –and extreme difficulties- of its medical studies and training.

If you break a leg or have an eye infection, if you are pregnant or think you might have caught a strange disease on your last trip to Guatemala, here are a presentation of the main hospitals in Paris and its suburbs.

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Quick overview of the medical care organization in Paris

  • Many people come from overseas to receive a specific treatment in one of the top Parisian public hospitals and private clinics. Nonresident foreigners will pay the same price as French people with the exception that they won’t get reimbursed by social security.
  • Depending on the type of expenses, the French social security covers most of those from public hospitals and some expenses up to a certain limit from private clinics which have more or less “free” tariffs.
  • Paris has a good network of doctors including all kind of specialists and a service of “at home” doctors who can visit you 24/7 if you are too weak to move or outside regular office hours. Very convenient if you are stuck in your hotel room with food poisoning symptoms!
  • You usually go to the hospital in case of serious emergencies, to consult certain specialists, for specific types of examinations, treatments, surgical procedures, etc. that cannot be done elsewhere.
  • In public hospitals, you can also choose to go for a public consultation (cheap but it usually lasts 10 minutes and there is a long waiting list) or a private consultation (you get the appointment faster, the doctor takes more time but it’s also more expensive)

Hospitals from the “Assistance Publique” group

Parisian hospitals with their specificities.<

Assistance Publique –Hôpitaux de Paris” gathered all the public hospitals in Paris and its suburbs including all ER units. It means hospitals operating budgets are supported by French taxes.

They include “regular” hospitals and “CHU” (hospitals linked to a medical faculty or with a research and/or studies department). There are 39 hospitals and they welcome 8.3 million patients every year.

Most of these hospitals are home to research departments of national, European and international reputation.

The group website allows you to schedule some appointments yourself online and has an English version:

Here are the list of Parisian hospitals with their specificities:

Trousseau Hospital

Located in the 12th district of Paris, it has a pediatric ER and a level III maternity. There are also pediatric units of oncology, hematology, orthopedics, allergology, nutrition… It is also a treatment center for burn injuries for children covering all Ile-de–France.

Bichat-Claude Bernard Hospital

Located on the 18th district, it carries one of the most important emergency units. It is known for its expertise in the area of cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases, renal and respiratory issues, infectious diseases, with a strong activity of organs transplant. It also hosts a maternity, a psychiatric and addiction unit.

Bretonneau Hospital

Located in the 18th district, it is dedicated to elderly person with a complete offer in geriatrics, psychogeriatrics and palliative care. It also hosts an important department of dental oral medicine.

Broca, La Collégiale et La Rochefoucauld Hospitals

These 3 hospitals are located in the 13th, 5th and 14th districts. They support all geriatric diseases. They are reputed for their research into Alzheimer's disease and automation issues.

Cochin Hospital

Cochin Hospital consists of three locations: Cochin and Port-Royal in the 14th and Tarnier in the 6th. It includes an adult ER, a level III maternity (Port-Royal) and has reference departments in cancerology, geriatrics, systemic, autoimmune, diabetes diseases, ophthalmology, osteo-articular, perinatology, periconceptology and chest.

It also hosts since 2017 a department called l’OphtalmoPôle de Paris, a center dedicated to eye diseases and eye surgeries as well as ophthalmologic emergencies.

Georges-Pompidou European Hospital

Located on the 15th district of Paris, the hospital has a well-known expertise in cardiovascular diseases and oncology. It is also specialized in taking care of multiple injured, pathologies of the spine, transplants (heart, kidney, and lungs), genetics and the management of obesity. More than 500.000 patients were taking care of in 2015.

Fernand-Widal Hospital

It is one of the three hospitals from the 10th district with Lariboisière and Saint Louis. It is specialized in psychiatry, addictology with expert centers on bipolar diseases and severe resistant depression.

It is also specialized in handicaps resulting of strokes, head traumas and poliomyelitis.

Hôtel-Dieu Hospital

Located in the 4th district, it owns a 24 hours a day ER, a large consultations platform with or without appointments, a unit dedicated to troubled youngsters, day hospitals (cardiovascular, endocrinology –metabolism, infectiology, sleep and daytime alertness); psychiatric unit and ER ; a unit of environmental and professional pathologies, a sport medicine unit.

It welcomes vulnerable people and victims –day and night- in a unit specialized in taking care of victims and psycho-traumas and the hospital medical and judicial unit of Paris (adults and juveniles).

Lariboisière Hospital

Located in the 10th district, it takes care of general and specialized emergencies. It carries an expertise in neurology, interventional neuroradiology, neurosurgery, Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) and ophthalmology.

It is developing interventional activities in cardiology, rheumatology and surgical procedure in orthopedics and visceral surgery. The hospital also owns a maternity with neonatology of type 2A.

Rothschild Hospital

Located in the 12th district, it’s a reference in the fields of handicap, elderly’s needs and in dentistry. It is specialized in physical therapy and neurologic and orthopedic readapting, in geriatrics and odontology.

It has an ENT consultation and is home to the center for adjustments for cochlear implants (called CRIC).

Saint-Antoine Hospital

Located on the 12th district, it hosts an ER, a large digestive unit, a cancerology unit, a unit for hematology, orthopedics, neurology, endocrinology, rheumatology and psychiatry, infectious and tropical diseases…

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Saint-Louis Hospital

Third hospital from the 10th district, it has a well-known expertise in hematology (blood diseases and associated diseases), cancerology (breast, digestive tract, and urology), dermatology (onco-dermatology and pathologies of skin inflammation) and skin repairs (restorative surgery and plastic surgery) as well as in the fields of grafts and transplants, organs and bone marrow).

It also has a specific care offer in the infectious and tropical diseases and inflammatory diseases.

It has a 24 hours a day seven days a week ER and it also takes in charge victims of severe burns as a regional care center.

Sainte-Périne Hospital

Located in the 16th district, it is specialized in taking care of patients with pathologies specific to the elderly.

Tenon Hospital

Located in the 20th district, it hosts an ER and is particularly specialized in gynecology and obstetrics and LDCs, uro-nephrology and renal transplantation. Expert center in cancerology, Lung Center and chest surgery, ENT, surgery, reconstructive and aesthetic, psychiatry, infectious and tropical diseases…

Necker- Children’s University Hospital

Located in the 15th district, it covers all medical and surgical pediatric surgeries, pediatric emergencies, a level III maternity and very specialized adult units (nephrology, kidney transplantation, hematology and infectious diseases).

Advanced consultancy Hospital for the treatment of heavy and complex diseases, it houses more than 40 reference centers for rare diseases. It takes care of more than 500 000 patients a year, of which nearly 17% from the countryside or abroad.

Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital

Located in the 13th, it is known for its reference activities such as the management of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and immune complex infectious diseases, disorders of the nervous system and mental disorders, organ and bone marrow transplantation, emergencies, surgery, oncology, and perinatal care.

Robert-Debré University Hospital

This mother-child hospital, located in the 19th district, has more than 400 beds and cribs. It hosts the first pediatric emergency department of France with nearly 100,000 visits per year. Many medical and surgical characteristics are proposed for the treatment of children and teenagers.

Its maternity, specialized in monitoring high-risk pregnancies, supports more than 3,000 deliveries per year. The hospital is also home to the largest center for pediatric hematology in France.

Vaugirard-Gabriel-Pallez Hospital

Located in the 15th district, it is specialized with in the care of patients with diseases related to the elderly.

Other Parisian Hospitals

Clinics and public hospitals which do not belong to the AP-HP organization.

There are many private clinics and a few other public hospitals which do not belong to the AP-HP organization but work in partnership with it. Here are three of the most reputed ones:

The Quinze-Vingt national ophthalmologic hospital center

Located in the 12th district, this public hospital is entirely dedicated to ophthalmology with specialists recognized in the entire world and quite recent and performing equipment. It has an agreement with AP-HP and houses an ophthalmologic ER open 24 hours a day.

Saint Anne Hospital

Located in the 14th district, this hospital offers a psychiatric department and psychiatric ER, a neurology department and handles all advanced treatments in pathologies associated to the nervous system.

It depends on the Ministry of internal affairs and also houses a psychiatric sick-room administered by the Parisian police headquarters which takes in people under temporary measures while waiting for an order for a hospitalization without their consent.

The American Hospital

Located in Neuilly sur Seine (92), a not-for-profit institution, the American Hospital of Paris has no shareholders and receives no funding from the French or American governments. It was first created to take in American expatriates or American tourists in France but it now has the reputation to take care of rich and famous people.

It hosts several medical and surgical units, one of which is cancerology center specialized in breast cancer and a level I maternity. It is known for being quite expensive and only a small part is reimbursed by the social security.

Public Hospitals from the suburbs of Paris

Also managed by Assistance Publique –Hôpitaux de Paris, here are a few of the most famous hospitals from the close suburbs of Paris:

L’hôpital Ambroise-Paré

Located in Boulogne-Billancourt (92), it offers a wide range of specialties for adults and children including adult and pediatric emergencies. The hospital also provides care in orthopedic surgery, in oncology (dermatology , digestive cancers, pulmonology, geriatric oncology) in collaboration with the Curie - René Huguenin Institute. It also houses three specialized reference centers in clinical nutrition, bone and joint infections and rare diseases.

Antoine-Béclère Hospital

Located in Clamart (92), it also has an adult and pediatric ER. It has a level III maternity and a reference center in several areas such as assisted reproductive technology, sleep disorders or the treatment of obesity.

Bicêtre Hospital

Located in Kremlin-Bicêtre (94), it has a wide range of specialties for adults and children. Featuring a platform of medical and surgical emergencies, it is recognized for the care of multiple injured and participates in the large neurosurgical “on call” care.

It also has expertise in immunopathology and interventional neuroradiology, a level III maternity and a rare cancer center.

Henri-Mondor Hospital

Located in Créteil (94), it handles medical and surgical disciplines of adult short stay with four main disciplines: cardiovascular oncology, neurology and neuroscience, harvestings and transplants. It has a general ER as well as two dedicated ER, one in dermatology, one in psychiatry.

Paul-Brousse Hospital

Located in Villejuif (94), it provides support for Hepatobiliary disorders - it is the first national center for liver transplantation (with first world transplantations) - and diseases related to old age.

Raymond-Poincaré Hospital

Located in Garches (92), it is a national reference institution for the care of children and adults with neuro-musculoskeletal disabilities from neuromuscular or traumatic origins including an intensive care unit.

It is also a reference center for "rare diseases" in several areas such as neuromuscular diseases, Fabry disease and rare hypersomnia.

Cancerology centers

On top of the specialized units mentioned above, there are two well-known centers for the treatment of cancers.

Gustave Roussy Hospital

Located in Villejuif (94), it’s a CLCC (non-profit private research center dedicated to the fight against cancer). It’s the first European center for care, research and teaching in cancerology.

Curie Institute

It is also a CLCC with several hospitals including one in Paris and one in Saint Cloud (92).


The most reputed Parisian maternities.

On top of the level III maternities mentioned above, here are some of the most reputed Parisian maternities:

Maternité des Bluets - Pierre Rouquès Hospital

This hospital is located in the 12th district and famous thanks to doctor Fernand Lamaze who initiated in 1952, the method for a painless delivery. Parents are supported in a customized way for the most natural delivery possible. It’s a level I maternity.

On top of the specialized units mentioned above, there are two well-known centers for the treatment of cancers.

Gustave Roussy Hospital

Located in Villejuif (94), it’s a CLCC (non-profit private research center dedicated to the fight against cancer). It’s the first European center for care, research and teaching in cancerology.

Curie Institute

It is also a CLCC with several hospitals including one in Paris and one in Saint Cloud (92).

Maternité de la Clinique de La Muette

Located in the 16th district, it’s a level I maternity, greatly prized by celebrities with its top-notch care such as sophrology classes. It has a partnership with Necker hospital.

Maternité des diaconesses

It is a nonprofit private level I maternity, located in the 12th district and acknowledged for the quality of its customized care.

Maternité des Lilas

Located in Les Lilas (93), it’s a private, human scale, level I maternity, known for taking a stand for women’s rights.

Some “birth centers”

Dedicated to less medicalized deliveries have been authorized on an experimental trial: CALM in Paris and the one from Pontoise Hospital (95).

What are level I, II and III maternities?
Level I, II, III are not quality criteria. The obstetrical unit is the same everywhere and staff unit is not reduced in level maternities.
Level I facilities are dedicated to non-risky pregnancies, i.e. the majority of them.
Level II facilities have a neonatology unit. They can take care of children whose prematurity is superior to 33 weeks.
Level III facilities own an intensive care neonatal unit and are specialized into pathological pregnancies. Premature kids under 33 weeks are being given birth in those facilities.

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