PAFSO Files Human Rights Complaints for Foreign Service Officers Deprived of Healthcare Coverage

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) has launched human rights complaints against both the Government of Canada and MSH International on behalf of members deprived of adequate healthcare coverage abroad.

Since the July 1st, 2023, transition to the new Public Service Health Care Plan administrator, Canada Life and its subcontractor, MSH international, too many Foreign Service Officers, others serving Canada abroad, and their families, have lacked reliable access to healthcare coverage.

While serving abroad as a condition of their employment, FSOs and their families do not have access to provincial healthcare plans and must rely on the Public Service Health Care Plan for their primary insurance. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that the dedicated professionals, who make many sacrifices and regularly uproot their lives to serve Canada receive proper coverage.

The failure of both the Government of Canada and MSH International to fulfill their duty to employees has serious consequences, especially for persons with disabilities and other protected groups. Accordingly, PAFSO will also be supporting individual complaints by affected members.

Those who are interested in filing such a complaint should contact our office for advice and assistance.



After repeated efforts to engage with the Employer, we are sad to have to take this step. In the absence of real solutions, we’ve seen only Band-Aid measures and finger-pointing at MSH International. While we fully intend to hold both parties to account, the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of employees and their families lies with the Government of Canada. We will continue to press until these obligations are met.”

– Pamela Isfeld, President of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers

“Plan members rely on their Plan to provide comprehensive health care coverage while they serve abroad. Problems with Plan administration have especially harsh impacts on people who most rely on the Plan, especially for human rights-related reasons, like disability. These Plan members are most vulnerable when it does not work properly. In addition to the obvious medical risks of a dysfunctional plan, the situation causes unique mental and financial stress for these members.”

– Morgan Rowe, Raven Law




PAFSO Policy Grievance



Daniel Pollak
Advocacy and Stakeholder Relations Officer

PAFSO Media Relations