Why won’t the Ontario government help BookJane vaccinate the province?

Doug Ford

I’m not going to lie: this will be a frustrating episode to hear if you live in Ontario.

Today we speak with Curtis Khan, CEO and founder of BookJane. BookJane is a Toronto-based startup currently trying to help Canadian healthcare facilities accelerate their vaccine rollout.

“We have a solution and they’re not paying attention to this. You have zero acknowledgement from this government. Zero.”

More than a simple booking platform, BookJane acts almost like an Uber for healthcare, offering just-in-time scheduling and fulfillment of healthcare workers.

Most recently, the Peel Region partnered with BookJane to accelerate its vaccine rollout. BookJane says that in only two weeks, it was able to mobilize over 200 physicians in the first 72 hours to seven of its COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the region.

Now, the Peel region has had immense problems fighting COVID-19, mostly due to a lack of provincial support (for more on that, I suggest you read Fatima Syed’s great piece in The Local). But there are a couple of things that are important to note to provide full context on what is happening in Ontario.

First, BookJane’s platform has been successful in mobilizing healthcare workers to get people vaccinated in Peel, which is crucial since only last week did the provincial government allow seven Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies in Peel to offer vaccines 24 hours a day (per The Local).

Second, Premier Ford just turned down the Prime Minister’s offer of the Red Cross to help with mobile vaccination teams, saying the real problem lies in vaccine supply. At the same time, the Premier just sent a letter to all provinces and territories saying Ontario is short about 5,000 nurses and health professionals.

So the big question: if BookJane can help an overburdened region like Peel get citizens vaccinated and maximize healthcare resources, why isn’t the platform being rolled out across the province?

We try to get at the answer on this podcast. It’s not a good one. And it’s tough to hear.

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Black Swan is a BetaKit podcast. Hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Xero. Produced with support from TWG.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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