Here are 2 healthcare shares at the top of my shopping list

I think the Australian healthcare industry is one of the best areas of the share market to make buy and hold investments.

But with so many high quality companies on the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care (Index: ^AXHJ) (ASX: XHJ) it can be hard for investors to decide which shares to invest in.

To give you a hand in making your decision I thought I would pick out my two favourite options in the industry today. They are as follows:

Whilst the Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) share price may have risen over 34% in the last 12 months, I don’t believe it is too late to grab a slice of this fast-growing infection control specialist. Thanks to the growing popularity of its ultrasound probe disinfection system, Nanosonics recently announced record half-years sales of $36.1 million. This was a massive 131% increase on the prior corresponding period. The company received a boost last week when new guidelines to establish broader requirements for high level disinfection of ultrasound probes internationally were announced. Management believes its trophon technology is perfectly positioned to meet the requirements outlined in the new guidelines.

The Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) share price has tumbled around 15% in the last six months. This decline has left the private hospital operator’s shares changing hands at 26x estimated FY 2017 earnings according to CommSec. Whilst this is by no means cheap compared to the rest of the market or rival Healthscope Ltd (ASX: HSO), I believe this is a fair multiple for Ramsay when you consider its high quality management team and strong long-term growth prospects. Management estimates that the number of people worldwide aged over 60 will triple by 2050. I expect this could keep demand for its hospitals growing at a solid rate for decades to come.

Finally, these are three more fantastic buy and hold investments that I think are well worth considering today.

A Big, Fat, Fully Franked Dividend

This company's dividend is almost the stuff of legends. Since it started paying dividends in 2007, it has increased its payout to shareholders every single year, a run that includes 21 consecutive dividend increases.

Based on the last 12-months of dividends, its shares are currently offering a fully-franked 4.8% yield, which grosses up to almost 7% when those franking credits are included. And in stark contrast to the likes of Commonwealth Bank and Telstra, this company just increased its dividend by over 13%, and guided for 2017 profits to grow by 20%!

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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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