Former UK health secretary Sajid Javid has come under fire for suggesting that people should be charged to see their general practitioner (GP) and visit Accident and Emergency (A&E).

Javid, an MP for the Worcestershire seat of Bromsgrove, made the suggestions in an opinion piece for the Times.

Claiming that the National Health Service (NHS) system is "unsustainable," he called for a "grown-up, hard-headed conversation" to improve the health services in the country.

"We should look, on a cross-party basis, at extending the contributory principle. This conversation will not be easy but it can help the NHS ration its finite supply more effectively," he wrote.

He went on to add that "too often the appreciation for the NHS has become a religious fervour and a barrier to reform."

Javid served as the Health Secretary from June 2021 to July 2022. According to local media reports, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is not considering the proposal "currently."

Earlier, the PM himself had come under fire for wanting to slap people with £10 fines if they missed their NHS appointments. He had to go back on his word after receiving criticism from all quarters.

Javid has also managed to irk people with his suggestions. People took to Twitter to criticise him for his opinion piece.

"Hey @sajidjavid we already pay for The NHS - if it needs more money, maybe ask your tax dodging /avoiding colleagues to chuck some cash in," wrote one user.

Another commented: "This has always, always been the government's NHS agenda. Outsource, privatise, make you pay (again).Anyone seriously believe Sunak doesn't want the same?

"Sajid Javid - who got £1,500 per hour from a second job with a US investment bank - is calling for people to have to pay to visit their GP and A+E," wrote Richard Burgon, Labour MP for East Leeds.

Professor Philip Banfield, chair of the British Medical Association Council, told DesiBlitz: "Charging patients for using the health service would threaten the fundamental principle of the NHS that must be protected – free care for all at the point of need."

NHS employs 153,000 non-UK nationals
The British public has shown warm support for the NHS which employs 153,000 non-UK nationals. Photo: AFP / Paul ELLIS