Over the last five years the healthcare industry has been one of the best-performing parts of the market here in Australia.

During that time the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care Index (Index: ^AXHJ) (ASX: XHJ) has climbed an astonishing 174% compared to the 31% return that the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has provided investors.

Thanks to the emergence of a number of fast-growing healthcare companies, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this outperformance continue over the next five years.

Three shares which I believe could help make this happen are listed below. In my opinion each has enormous potential and is well worth taking a closer look at.

Monash IVF Group Ltd (ASX: MVF)

In August fertility treatment company Monash IVF delivered a strong full year result which saw net profit after tax increase 34.6% to $28.8 million. The strong growth was driven by a 12.4% increase in IVF treatments, which is well ahead of the industry average of 8.2%. This helped the company grow its market share to almost 24%. Rather positively management has forecast an increase in demand next year, which I believe could help the company deliver another bumper profit result.

Medical Developments International Ltd (ASX: MVP)

Medical Developments International is the company behind Penthrox. The green whistle pain-management product has been used by the defence force, ambulance officers, and surf lifesavers for decades. The company now has ambitions to make Penthrox a mainstream analgesic of choice around the world and is certainly making a lot of progress in doing so. This year the company has gained approval to sell the product in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Singapore to name just three. With the company in the process of working with the FDA to have it approved for sale in the United States, the future certainly looks bright.

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

Pro Medicus is a medical imaging company which I feel could be one to watch over the next few years. This year it announced a series of key contract wins over in the United States for its increasingly popular Visage 7 technology. As the technology is widely regarded as being the best-in-class, I feel the company is in a strong position for growth over the next few years. With the company profitable, debt-free, and rapidly growing its US customer base, I feel confident that Pro Medicus would be a great long-term investment.

Finally, if you need to make room in your portfolio for either of these shares I would highly recommend taking a look to see if you own these wealth destroying shares. Each could be harming your portfolio and might be best swapped out if you ask me.

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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.