How much healing, how many targets, what range, and with what actions would healing spells need to heal to be worthwhile in combat?
3.0 said Waithstrike.
3.5 said Devoted Maneuvers, also cheap out of combat healing (to a point it's nearly free).
4.0 said everyone can cross heal!
But excluding those...
If healing didn't cap at Serious and move too Mass versions healing maybe it would be useful. Generally the consensus says Heal is the only spell worth while. Not only when you first get the spell it can be powerful enough to fully heal anyone, it also removed several negative debuffs from a character.
So, in a gist. Better healing amount, allow healing spells to gradually scale up their cure effects, and dammit f*ck inflation. Don't write five spells to heal five different amounts and then double that to ten spells by including Mass versions. One spell that heals like 1d8 per CL (opposed to the common d6 for dmg) and if your CL is > 3 it cures this and that, > 5 it cures more, etc. By the time you hit the 9th level version it is a combination of Greater Restoration, Break Enchantment, Regenerate, and lot of healing. That could work, probably.
Edit - Actually some slot break up would be required to prevent metamagic abuse. It's just, five cure level spells, five mass cure level spells, heal and it's mass version. Lame lame lame lame lame. The described above would make an excellent capstone trait of a PrC though.