Complaints and litigation in France

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Legal framework: article 6, section 3 of directive No. 2011/24          

Contesting a healthcare professional's refusal to provide care

A healthcare professional may refuse to provide care under a strictly regulated set of circumstances. If you believe you have been subjected to an unjustified refusal to treat, you may submit a complaint to the local health insurance fund that covers the location where you sought care, or to the relevant professional board. Your complaint will then be examined by an arbitration committee.

If you suffer harm from treatment received in France

1. Healthcare facility mediation

You may submit a complaint to the healthcare facility's User Relations and Quality of Care Committee and/or to the health system users' representative.

2. Complaints submitted to professional boards

Professional boards bring together all of the members of a single profession and provide a type of regulation over that profession. They can take disciplinary measures against a member who is believed to have acted against the interests of the profession.

Board Website Information on procedures followed
Physicians www.conseil-national.medecin.fr FAQ
Dental surgeons ordre-chirurgiens-dentistes.fr Settling disputes
Pharmacists www.ordre.pharmacien.fr Disciplinary committees
Massage and Physical Therapists www.ordremk.fr Oversight committee
Nurses www.ordre-infirmiers.fr How to submit a complaint to the Board
Midwives ordre-sages-femmes.fr National disciplinary committee
Chiropodists-podiatrists www.onpp.fr Board oversight committees

3. Bringing legal action

If you suffer harm from cross-border healthcare provided in France, you are entitled to damages under common law. Indeed, health professionals and healthcare facilities alike are liable for any harm resulting from proven medical malpractice, pursuant to the first paragraph of article L. 1142-1 of the French public health code.