The idea of a ‘Mediterranean paradigm’ characterizing the health systems of
Southern Europe is not new: however, this paper furtherly develops this idea by elaborating the concept of ‘macroregion’ in order to compare the four health macroareas of Europe: Northern, Central-Western, Central-Eastern and Southern Europe. Using a connessionistic and multidimensional approach, the peculiar features of the Southern European macro-region are described according to a specific set of
variables. Finally, some explanatory hypotheses are examined on the historical background of the health systems of this macro-area in order to grasp also the reasons which make the reform processes quite similar among them and at the same time rather different from those applied in the other European macro-regions.