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Are these the best healthcare shares to buy on the ASX?

Over the last five years the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care index has put on a staggering gain of 97% excluding dividends.

This is vastly superior to the gains that were made by the S&P/ASX 200 over the same period, even including dividends.

While this level of outperformance may be unlikely over the next five years, I believe the quality in the sector means there’s a good chance that some level of outperformance will occur.

With that in mind, I think it could be well worth gaining exposure to the sector. Here are my top three shares in the sector right now:

Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Last month this hearing solutions company reiterated its guidance for FY 2019 when it held its annual general meeting. It expects to deliver a reported net profit of $265 million to $275 million, which will be a year on year increase of between 8% and 12%. The good news is that I believe this level of growth will be possible over the medium to long term thanks to its exposure to the global ageing populations tailwind.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

My top pick in the healthcare sector would have to be this global biotech company. Especially now that its shares have pulled back meaningfully over the last couple of months. CSL’s shares are down 22% from their 52-week high and at a level which I think is very attractive for investors that are looking for buy and hold options. Due to the quality of its management team, growing plasma collection network, strong core business, lucrative pipeline of products, and fast-growing influenza business, I believe CSL can continue growing its earnings at an above-average rate for many years to come.

ResMed Inc. (ASX: RMD)

Not far behind CSL for me would be ResMed. This medical device company is one of my favourite shares on the Australian share market and potentially a great buy and hold option. ResMed is a leading player in a sleep treatment market which is expected to grow strongly over the next decade. In light of this, recent earnings accretive acquisitions, and its focus on software, I believe ResMed is well-positioned to continue its solid sales and earnings growth for the foreseeable future.

As well as Cochlear, CSL, and ResMed, I think these blue chip shares could be destined for big things in 2019.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy For 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. and ResMed Inc. 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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