A consultant-led gender service for young people needs to be in Ireland and not elsewhere, the Children's Minister has said.
Roderic O'Gorman was responding to criticism from Endocrinologist Professor Donal O'Shea, who said his concerns around the HSE's National Gender Service were not being listened to.
Prof O'Shea claimed HSE links with a clinic in Antwerp that "is at least as bad as Tavistock - most likely worse".
The Tavistock clinic in the UK was told to close after it was criticised in an independent review.
Prof O'Shea also expressed concerns for a position advertised for a HSE Clinical Lead for Transgender Services, which he said "requires that you have a special interest in the area".
"Ideology cannot direct clinical care," Prof O'Shea added.
Minister O'Gorman told Newstalk Breakfast the HSE wants the best healthcare available.
"We all want to see the very best healthcare provided for young people who are presenting and saying they're trans," he said.
"I know from my engagement with the HSE previously they were always very clear that they wanted a consultant-led gender service for young people in this country.
"I know over the last number of years they have had difficulty securing someone with the requisite level of experience in the care of young people.
"Certainly from the last time I engaged with the HSE earlier this year, they were very much focused on a consultant-led service - one based in Ireland, and I think that's the best approach."
'We need to have it here in Ireland'
Minister O'Gorman said he wants to see all services provided here in Ireland.
"I want to see us in a position where we don't have to secure gender care for children outside of the country," he said.
"I think we need to have it here in Ireland, and I think that needs to be the focus in terms of developing a consultant-led system here."
'Strong differences of view'
Minister O'Gorman said while there are differing views, consultant-led gender care is the best approach.
"In the meantime, there are parents who are unsure in terms of how they secure the best level of support for their young children," he said.
"I've heard of parents who gone online and secured medicines... I think that's something really concerning.
"The HSE I believe are doing their best.
"I recognise there are strong differences of view in terms of the approach on this element.
"Everyone wants to see a consultant-led gender care for young people provided in this country, and I know that's what the HSE are working to develop," he added.