The Alberta government said Calgarians have access to thousands of additional community lab appointments because of action it took to address backlogs in August. “Lab services are a critical part of a patient’s diagnosis and quicker access to lab tests means faster results and faster treatment,” said Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange in a Tuesday press release. “These traditional appointments will help Calgary region residents get the care they need, when they need it.” The Alberta government said in August thousands of new community lab appointments are being made available for Albertans.READ MORE: UCP will try and break lab backlog through hospital appointmentsThe appointments, which will be made through hospitals, are designed to reduce wait times. “It is unacceptable that Albertans are facing constant delays to get a simple test or blood work done," said Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.With the addition of a new community lab in Calgary’s southeast, the Alberta government said 2,000 more patients will have their tests done sooner every week. It added another 800 weekly appointments will be available in early 2024 once expansion of the community labs at Glenbrook Plaza in Calgary’s southwest and Airdrie are complete. These changes will provide an additional 2,800 lab appointments in the Calgary region. The additional appointments build on the improvements to lab capacity made by Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) in recent months. Hundreds of weekly appointments were added at hospital labs in Calgary for community patients and additional providers were listed to boost capacity, which resulted in several thousand more each week. APL increased appointment capacity in Calgary by 22% since September. There are more than 24,000 community appointments available each week. In Calgary, the Alberta government said lab appointments are available within 12 to 14 days now. By comparison, it said Calgary patients used to wait six weeks for appointments in April. “Improving access to lab appointments and decreasing wait times for these important services is the priority for Alberta Precision Laboratories,” said Alberta Health Services President and CEO Mauro Chies. “This new lab will ensure those living in south Calgary have better options to access more timely lab services, close to home.” APL Chief Operating Officer Tammy Hofer confirmed it has reduced wait times for walk-in and scheduled appointments by 34.4% in Calgary. “The current overall average wait time in the area is 28.8 minutes,” said Hofer.