AUGUSTA — Four surgeons from a busy medical practice in the city are leaving the area’s newest hospital to work at one of the oldest, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital at Togus.

Those leaving MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta for the veterans hospital are physicians Cameron McKee, Richard Morand, Clint Delashaw and William Weiss. All four have given notice that they will leave this summer.

“Certainly all four surgeons are great doctors, and three out of the four have military backgrounds. It’s sad to see them go,” said Chuck Hays, president and chief executive officer of MaineGeneral Health. “At the same time, we continue to recruit and we have had some people who contacted us and are interested in coming.”

Hays said even with the departure of the four, MaineGeneral, which has 192 inpatient beds, will continue to have six general surgeons on staff and 50 surgeons in total.

Dr. Stephen Sears, chief of staff at the VA Maine Healthcare System, worked with several of the four doctors when he was chief medical officer for MaineGeneral Health, the parent organization of MaineGeneral Medical Center.

“We are pleased that these four surgeons have chosen to come to VA Maine,” Sears said on Monday. “What organization wouldn’t be happy to have four really talented physicians coming? They’re really a team, and they work together well. Teamwork’s part of the way we really want to provide medicine.”

Sears said the four “bring general surgical skills, endoscopic capabilities, some basic thoracic surgical skills and a wealth of experience in basic and emergency care of surgical patients.”

McKee, who has practiced in Augusta since 1993, was a strong advocate for building MaineGeneral Medical Center’s new consolidated inpatient hospital to help attract and retain doctors with specialized expertise. McKee was medical director of surgery at MaineGeneral Medical Center until January.

Morand had worked with Mc- Kee when both were in the military and joined McKee’s practice in Augusta in 1999. Weiss, too, has military experience.

Delashaw joined MaineGeneral in 2004 and Weiss in 2012.

The situation is similar to that in 2012 when four trauma surgeons left Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston to join the staff of MaineGeneral Medical Center. They are four of the six general surgeons at MaineGeneral now, Hays said.

Among the chief reasons for building a new hospital in Augusta was to help reduce physician coverage requirements from two hospitals – one in Waterville and one on East Chestnust Street in Augusta – to one and recruit and retain primary- and special-care physicians.

Results of an economic impact study, commissioned by the hospital in 2009, showed that increasing numbers of residents opted for care at more modern medical centers outside the Kennebec Valley area, and doctors are drawn to newer facilities where they can share coverage responsibilities.

However, the new hospital has had to trim staff since the Nov. 9 opening of its $312 million Alfond Center for Health.

In May, Hays announced that the budget MaineGeneral officials developed for the fiscal year that started in July eliminated 128 full-time positions, 16 of which were filled and the others vacant.

Hays said only two of the positions involved direct interaction with patients, and most were in management.