The 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization Alma-Ata Declaration in Astana offered the impetus to discuss the extent to which integrated primary health care (PHC) has been successfully implemented and its impact on research and practice. This paper focuses on the experiences from Greece in implementing primary health care reform and lessons learned from the conduct of evidence-based research. It critically examines what appears to be impeding the effective implementation of integrated PHC in a country affected by the financial and refugee crisis. The key challenges for establishing integrated people-centred primary care include availability of family physicians, information and communication technology, the prevention and management of chronic disease and migrant and refugees’ health. Policy recommendations are formulated to guide the primary health care reform in Greece, while attempting to inform efforts in other countries with similar conditions.