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3 ASX healthcare shares on my shopping list

As I have said a number of times before, I think the healthcare sector is one of the best areas of the market to make buy and hold investments.

This is thanks to the expectation of growing demand for healthcare services due to ageing populations, longer life expectancy, increased chronic disease burden, and improvements in treatments and diagnostic methods.

Three healthcare shares which I think are worth considering as buy and hold investments are listed below:

The Japara Healthcare Ltd (ASX: JHC) share price may be up by around 10% in the last three months, but I don’t think it is too late to invest in the aged care operator. In my opinion the company has positioned itself perfectly to profit from the expected demand for aged care services over the next decade and beyond. By 2025/26, Japara intends to add over 2,500 new places. This will be an increase of approximately 65% on its current places.

After a strong gain last year, the Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) share price has fallen around 16% year-to-date. Whilst its shares are still expensive compared to the rest of the sector, I feel the bumper earnings growth the company is generating more than justifies the premium. Demand for its trophon EPR ultrasound probe disinfection system led Nanosonics to deliver a 203% jump in half-year operating profit to $10.3 million.

The 1300 Smiles Limited (ASX: ONT) share price is just a fraction off its 52-week low. A disappointing half-year result has largely been behind the drop in the share price of one of Australia’s largest dental businesses. But with management optimistic of the future and seeing opportunities to expand through acquisitions, I believe this debt-free and cash-rich business could be a good option for investors today.

Finally, if you like buy and hold investments as much as I do, then these shares could be perfect for you.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Nanosonics Limited. 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.

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