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Affected cancer patient Paul Schofield called for Mrs Grant and chief executive Chris Fleming to be removed from their roles this week. It followed chief medical officer Nigel Millar’s admission he feared the life expectancy of some patients might have been shortened by delays treating prostate cancer.
Yesterday, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman expressed confidence in Mrs Grant, whom he appointed in 2015.
Mrs Grant defended a delay in outsourcing cancer operations to Mercy Hospital until the release last month of an external review of urology.
"The decisions that have been made in relation to outsourcing and ways forward are the result of our having undertaken the review, having considered the review, and taken steps to implement [it]."
She said she was first told about the problem "towards the end of last year". Asked if she knew then lives could be at risk, she said the information did not go into that "level of detail".
She declined to talk about an internal review carried out before the external review. The board is refusing to release the internal review until next week.
"It would be more helpful for us to have that conversation and have a discussion at such point as you have that information."
She was not keen to elaborate on decisions taken or the timeline of events.
"We have been over some of that ground and I think we should bring this conversation to an end."
The board was "learning to live within [its] means".
"Our challenge is to run what is effectively a billion-dollar business as effectively and efficiently as we can.
"Those efficient business-type decisions are not of such a nature that will impact the delivery of patient services."
She could not identify areas in which money was being saved.
"I don’t have it at my fingertips. I would need to come back to you."
Her tenure was a matter for the health minister, and she wanted to continue in the role, she said.
"My appointment is by the minister and ... whether I remain as commissioner or whether I step aside is essentially the minister’s call."
Asked about the lack of public representation at the board, she said: "Those are the present rules of engagement, and that was the minister’s decision ..."
Mr Schofield and five other men waited too long for cancer surgery; it has been performed in the past five weeks. Of a backlog of 100 biopsies, an estimated 25 faced a poor prognosis.