French hospitals and health facilities are first class. British,
and visitors from other EU countries, are entitled to heavily
discounted medical treatment and medicines on presentation of a
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Otherwise doctors and
hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Medical insurance is advised. Pharmacies will provide some first
aid, but charge for it. Rabies also occurs occasionally. In
February 2006, France confirmed its first cases of bird flu; all
affected birds have been culled and precautionary measures taken.
The risk is low for travellers, but close contact with domestic,
wild and caged birds should be avoided, and all poultry and egg
dishes well cooked.