This research article states that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development called for substantially increased health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce (1). As agreed by most governments, strengthening primary health care (PHC) is the most inclusive, effective and efficient approach to enhance physical and mental health, as well as social well-being of the population. The World Health Assembly states that family physicians (FPs) are essential members of PHC teams (3) and the World Health Organization has noted that most effective PHC systems include a medical practitioner (MP) with postgraduate training in family medicine (4). In the African context, FPs are also an important resource at the district hospital. Small, often rural and remote, district hospitals have significant skills gaps (5) that can be addressed by FPs specifically trained for this context. In many countries, such as Kenya and Botswana, the intention is to place FPs at this hospital and for them to also support the surrounding primary care platform. South Africa is a middle-income country with one of the highest Gini coefficients (6). This reflects inequities in health care access, quality of care and spending between the public and private health sectors. This highlights an urgent need to improve the quality of public sector health services because of the intention to ensure universal health coverage.