Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare

Sunak visits Rutland Lodge Healthcare Centre in Leeds

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted on Wednesday he had used private healthcare in the past, breaking weeks of silence over whether he had any experience of Britain's state-run National Health Service which is in a state of crisis.

With thousands of nurses and ambulance workers on strike over pay, Sunak has been repeatedly asked by journalists and opposition lawmakers over whether he uses the NHS or gets private treatment which offers a quicker service.

Some critics have argued that Sunak, one of the wealthiest politicians in British history, is out of touch with those workers demanding higher wages to keep up with inflation and have doubted whether he could appreciate the strains the NHS is facing if he and his family did not use the service.

"I am registered with an NHS GP (general practitioner), I have used independent healthcare in the past," he told parliament during the weekly session of prime minister's questions.

"I'm proud to come from an NHS family and that is why I am passionately committed to protecting it with more funding, more doctors and nurses and a clear plan to cut the waiting lists."

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden)