These are some answers that I know of so far.
cake wrote:How long are they kept on record?
About seven to 10 years. It depends on the regulations of the individual hospital. The government seems to have lowered the limit of saving the medical record from 10 years to seven years.
Are they available to anyone?
No, it's the privacy of the patient involved, unless a permit is offered by him/her.
Can you get access to your own records and take them away? If you do, do the hospitals/clinics still have copies?
Yes, but you have to pay for the copies. Yes, the copies, because the original records belong to the hospitals/clinics.
Is there a charge?
See above and yes. You have to pay a little more for the first couple of pages. But if you need to copy more, then the rest is paid by page with a much lower price.
Is there a central database with your records, or is the data only available where you attended?
Basically the NHI has the access to everyone's records on this island if these data were uploaded by the hospital to apply for the money. But if you paid the bill totally by yourself, the hospital don't have to go through this procedure and theoretically the record would be only available where you attended. The exception is if this hospital is in alliance with others and they have joined the electronic medical record exchange center in Taiwan, then all these allied hospitals can get access to your data.