The former housing minister replaces Andy Burnham, who was named education secretary by Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Mr Healey, 50, has been MP for Wentworth and Dearne, in Yorkshire, since 1997.
He takes over the position despite the fact Mr Burnham is fighting to delay the government's White Paper reforms.
Mr Healey first announcement was a warning in The Independent that the reforms would shift power to 'unaccountable' private firms drafted in to help GPs commission.
Mr Healey has also worked in positions within the Treasury and as minister for local government but has never held a position in health.
Mr Healey will be joined by Leicester West MP Liz Kendall, who becomes shadow health minister.
Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP and failed Labour leadership contender Dianne Abbott will also join Labour's health team as shadow public health minister.
Ms Kendall became an MP this year having previously worked as director of the NHS Confederation's Ambulance Service Network and as a researcher for the King's Fund.