One of the best performing areas of the market in the last 12 months has been the healthcare sector. With a 12-month gain of just over 11%, it has outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) by a great distance.

I’m quite bullish on the sector for the next 12 months, with these five healthcare shares in particular at the top of my list.

Medical Developments International Ltd (ASX: MVP)

It may not be the most well known company on the ASX, but I’m sure many investors will be familiar with Medical Developments International’s pain-management product Penthrox. Its green whistle has been used for decades by the defence force, ambulance officers, and surf lifesavers to deliver rapid pain relief through the inhalation of methoxyflurane. The company has ambitions to make Penthrox a mainstream analgesic of choice around the world and is making good progress in doing so in my opinion.

Monash IVF Group Ltd (ASX: MVF)

Monash IVF is a growing fertility treatment company which has really caught my eye. The company has grown patient numbers at a rapid rate this year, reporting a 17% year-on-year increase in its half year report. These strong patient numbers allowed the company to deliver impressive top and bottom line growth of 31.6% and 27.6%, respectively. With the company continuing to steal market share in its key markets and management expecting increasing demand for its services, I believe Monash IVF would be a great investment.

Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX)

Mayne Pharma’s share price has been on a tear this year following the announcement that it had raised equity to complete the US$652 million acquisition of a portfolio of drug products from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Allergan plc. Management has advised that the acquisition of 37 approved and five FDA filed products is expected to be significantly accretive to earnings from next year onwards.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

This medical imaging company could be one to watch over the next few years. It has recently announced a series of key contract wins in the United States for its increasingly popular Visage 7 technology. As the technology is widely regarded as being the best-in-class, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more contract wins announced in the next few months. Its shares do trade at quite a premium, but I feel confident that its strong balance sheet and exciting growth prospects justify this.

REVA Medical Inc (ASX: RVA)

I think this clinical stage medical device company has huge growth potential. This is thanks to the development of its bioresorbable scaffolds as an alternative to traditional metal stents used to treat coronary artery disease. REVA’s scaffolds have been designed to disappear naturally when their job is done, rather than remain permanently in the artery like metal stents currently do. With the global coronary stents market expected to be worth up to $8.3 billion by 2019, REVA could have a bright future if it can win a good share of the market.

Finally, before you add any of these to your portfolio I would highly recommend you check to see if you own any of these three rotten ASX shares. Don't let them damage your portfolio!

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.