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3 top healthcare shares to buy and hold for the long-term

There is no denying that Australia’s population is both growing and ageing.

In fact, by 2056 the government estimates that 8.7 million people will be over the age of 65. This compares to 3.7 million Australians over the age of 65 in 2016.

As Australia’s population ages, demand for healthcare services is expected to increase greatly. I expect this to provide the sector with solid organic growth for decades to come.

For this reason I think the healthcare sector would be a great place to consider investing with a long-term view. Three shares that fit the bill for me are listed below. Here’s why I like them:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

As people age, invariably their hearing will deteriorate. Studies have shown that failing to seek treatment for hearing loss can lead to the feeling of isolation and ultimately depression. Because of this, I expect demand for this hearing solutions company’s products will be in great demand. Furthermore, as Cochlear has a global distribution network, it stands to benefit from ageing populations around the globe as well.

Paragon Care Ltd (ASX: PGC)

Another company which I think could benefit greatly from Australia’s ageing population is Paragon Care. I feel that this provider of integrated services to the health and aged care markets could be positioned perfectly to profit from these growing markets following its acquisition spree after recently raising almost $70 million through a capital raising.

Zenitas Healthcare Ltd (ASX: ZNT)

I think this home care and health services company could be one of the best ways for investors to benefit from Australia’s ageing population. This is especially the case after the latest Federal Budget pledged to support older Australians that wish to stay at home instead of going into aged care. I expect demand for its home care services will grow strongly over the next decade, making it a good option for patient investors.

And finally... these non-healthcare shares could be equally good long-term investment options in my opinion. I'm tipping them to be market beaters in FY 2019.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd., Paragon Care Limited, and Zenitas Healthcare Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.

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