NICOLA Sturgeon said that she has never used private healthcare during her press conference on the crisis facing the NHS.

This comes a day after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was slammed for dodging the same question during an interview with Laura Kuenssberg.

The First Minister held a briefing on Monday where she confirmed that Scotland’s hospitals are “almost completely full”.

During the round of questions, Sturgeon was asked if she had ever made use of private healthcare, to which she replied: “No I don’t and never have.”

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The First Minister was also asked if she would encourage wealthier Scots to access private healthcare to alleviate the pressure on the NHS.

She replied: “No, I don’t, I never have. No, I wouldn’t encourage people to go private, people have the right to make that choice.

My job as First Minister is to work to ensure that we have a health service that is publicly funded, a health service that is available and free at the point of need for everybody who needs it.

That is my focus and that is particularly challenging right now for all the reasons we've been talking about.

“But my job, my duty, my responsibility is to focus on making sure that that is what we are delivering.”

The question of private healthcare was also extended to Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and Deputy Chief Medical Officer Graham Ellis.

Ellis told the press conference: “Some of my family have, but I think it’s more complex than I don’t think it necessarily pays off in the way that people think just to suggest that someone who’s better off, its often the same doctors working in different settings delivering that.

"I think it’s much better to work through the systems that are already in place.”

Yousaf did not respond to the question.

On Sunday, Sunak, who has previously avoided questions on his use of private healthcare, said he would never talk about his own or his family’s healthcare as a “general policy”.

Instead, he told the BBC: “My dad was a doctor; I grew up in an NHS family” before adding that it wasn’t “really relevant”.

“When it comes to the NHS, I literally, I grew up in an NHS family, my dad was a GP, my mum was a pharmacist”, he added.

Downing Street have previously said that the information is “not in the public interest”.

Several slammed the PM for refusing to answer the question, with the Scottish Greens saying it “tells us all we need to know”.

RCN general secretary Pat Cullen added that it was important to be transparent with the public and that Sunak “needed to come clean”.