A FORMER Tory health secretary has called for people to pay to see their GP or go to A&E as he branded the current NHS funding model “unsustainable”.

Writing in The Times, Sajid Javid called for a “grown-up” conversation about reforms to the health service as mounting challenges cause problems.

He warned that “too often the appreciation for the NHS has become a religious fervour and a barrier to reform”.

Downing Street told the newspaper that the Prime Minister is not “currently” considering the Tory MP’s suggestions.

The National:

In the article, Javid suggests Ireland’s 75 euro fee for visiting A&E without referral, and the £20 cost of seeing a GP in Norway and Sweden, could be a possible model for England to follow.

“This conversation will not be easy, but it can help the NHS ration its finite supply more effectively,” he wrote.

Responding to the article, the SNP's health spokesperson at Westminster Martyn Day MP said: "The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to the founding principle that our NHS is free at the point of use - and the SNP will always defend that principle.

The National:

"These dangerous Tory plans show that public services are at risk under Westminster control. While health is devolved, Tory NHS charges, creeping privatisation, and cuts in England would mean cuts to Scotland’s budget.

The MP went on: "With the Tories and Labour Party both wedded to Brexit and creeping privatisation – it’s clear that our public services will only be fully protected with independence.”

Meanwhile, Alba's Westminster leader Neale Hanvey called the proposals "privatisation plain and simple, no ifs or buts".

"Alba Party will stand up for Scotland and resist this attack on the NHS. It has never been more clear that independence is the only way to protect the NHS in Scotland and save it from disgraceful Tory privatisation."

READ MORE: NHS officials say 'two-tier' health service discussion was part of 'ideas workshop'

It comes after a major row erupted in Scotland when NHS leaders suggested wealthy patients could be charged to use the service as part of an “ideas workshop”.

There were headlines alleging NHS bosses had “secret plans” to charge the wealthy, providing ammunition for opposition parties in Holyrood.

But First Minister Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the leaked document and said her government was “unequivocal” that it would not charge people for care.

During his Tory leadership campaign, Rishi Sunak suggested charging people for missed GP appointments in England but later backtracked on the plan.