How the problem of hiring healthcare staff has become a fertile ground for startups


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The healthcare crisis — more evident now as summer heatwaves put pressure on hospitals — is resulting in a staffing boom. But healthcare professionals in Europe can end up with bad terms and pay due to the many hiring agencies offering medical staff on short-term contracts.

As you can imagine, this means this area is ripe for startups to “platformize” this problem, and we’ve have seen that with the appearance of companies like Vivian Health, Lantum, Patchwork Health and Clipboard Health.

Another, emerging from Stockholm, Sweden, is Bemlo, a mainly Nordics-based marketplace for short-term staffing of nurses and doctors.

It’s now raised $3.3 million in a seed round backed by Y Combinator, Long Journey Ventures, Uncommon Capital and a group of angel investors that include Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi, BloomTech co-founder Austen Allred and top executives from the Swedish digital health startup Kry.

Benjamin Waye, CEO and co-founder of Bemlo said in a statement:

Healthcare professionals have long sought a transparent solution for sharing their own work experience at different employers with peers. Reviews and transparency haven´t been widely available in this space, until now. Healthcare professionals should be able to focus on patients and not have to worry about working conditions.

Bemlo operates in Sweden, Norway and the U.K. and is used by both healthcare professionals as well as healthcare staffing agencies. These then compare short-term staffing at medical facilities, get salary information, contact employers and find shifts that suit them.

Lee Jacobs, founder and General Partner at Long Journey Ventures added: “By providing a marketplace for short-term staffing that matches the right healthcare professionals with vacant short-term positions, Bemlo can support the current European healthcare labour shortage by filling the gaps.”

Bemlo’s business model is that the agencies pay it to market themselves.

With the current labor shortage in healthcare, hiring a nurse or doctor can take up to three months. As hospitals and others start to use these new startups, the hope is that that time can rapidly start to shrink to only a few days or even less.

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