In an ideal world, all health information would be available to all people. The databases contained in the Cochrane Library are an invaluable resource for health professionals, particularly the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and there is a global movement to make the Cochrane Library available to all.
A number of countries now offer their citizens free access to the Cochrane Library because they have obtained national provisions. Currently there are two online petitions to receive national provisions, one in Canada and one in Europe.
In Canada, people residing in New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan have free access to Cochrane. Other Canadians who wish to have this access are encouraged to sign this petition, entitled A National License to The Cochrane Library for Canada. The petition is administered by the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada.
In Europe the petition is entitled Petition to the European Commission to finance EU Provision to the Cochrane Library.
Here is a sampling of countries that offer free access to the Cochrane Library:
Australia; Denmark; England; Finland; Island of Ireland (Health Research Board in Dublin and The Research and Development Office in Belfast); Scotland; South Africa; New Zealand; Norway (Norwegian Health Services Research Centre); Sweden; Wales (Welsh Assembly Government).
There are also several programmes that provide free access in Latin America and low-income countries. For more information see this link.